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It is important that your child be relaxed and still during the procedure or test to get the best results. Many young children are not able to be still enough when they are awake. Sedation will help your child relax.


How do I prepare my child for sedation?

For many tests or procedures, you will be able to stay with your child the entire time. The sedation nurse will partner with you to discuss if this is possible and create the best plan for your child’s situation.

As with all medicines, there are benefits, side effects and risks. A provider or nurse on the care team will review these and answer any questions before sedating your child.

Your child must stop eating and drinking before their appointment for safety. Please use the following guidelines unless otherwise directed.

  • 8 hours before the appointment: stop solid food, thickened foods and non-clear liquids (including cow's milk)
  • 6 hours before the appointment: stop formula or tube feedings
  • 4 hours before the appointment: stop breast milk
  • 2 hours before their appointment: stop clear liquids

The medications used for moderate or deep sedation can be unsafe during pregnancy. At Gillette, in certain circumstances, pregnancy testing is important before sedation. Your nurse will discuss pregnancy testing with you as needed.


What can I expect after the procedure?

Your child may be sleepy for a few hours after the procedure depending on the type of medication given and their normal sleeping patterns. Children often feel better and are less irritable if they can rest and wake up at their own pace. You can help them have a calm wake up by keeping the room quiet and lighting low after the procedure is completed.

A staff member will check on your child until the effects of the sedation medication have worn off. Your child will be ready for discharge when:

  • Breathing, heart rate and blood pressure are consistent with what they were before the procedure.
  • Your child is awake and interacting appropriately.
  • Your child’s level of consciousness has returned to normal.

Your child can only be discharged into the care of a responsible adult.


At Home Instructions:

The time that it takes to recover from sedation is different for everyone. The effects of the medication can last for up to 24 hours.

Irritability is common after sedation. Your child will feel better if allowed to rest again after leaving the clinical area. Your child is at risk for accidental injury if they return to normal activities before being fully recovered. Do not leave them unattended if they are feeling dizzy or unsteady on their feet, especially in the bathroom or on the stairs. Be sure to use the proper seat belt for their age when traveling in a car. our child should not make any major decisions or drive for 24 hours, if legally eligible to do so.

It is important to watch your child throughout the rest of the day to make sure that they are feeling well. Do not offer food or fluids until your child is fully awake. Once awake, start with clear liquids (gelatin, popsicles, pulp-free juice) before returning to their normal diet.

If your child vomits:

  • Offer clear liquids like water, clear juice, or soup once they can drink without vomiting.
  • Make sure they have little or no nausea before returning to their normal diet.

When to Call Gillette

Contact the health care provider that ordered the sedation through Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890 if:

  • You have questions about the sedation or recovery.
  • Your child vomits more than two times and continues to feel sick.
  • Your child stays extremely sleepy, irritable or clumsy longer than expected.
  • Your child has signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction (rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat)

If your child has trouble breathing call 911 immediately.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.