Skip to main content

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

How can I prepare my child for sedation with Nitrous Oxide?

For most tests or procedures, you will be able to stay with your child the entire time.  The sedation team will partner with you to identify the best plan for your child’s situation.

As with all medicines there are benefits, side effects, and risks. The nurse or respiratory therapist will review these and answer any questions before sedating your child. If your child is allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances, tell them about the allergy and what symptoms your child had.

Your medical provider may avoid using this drug if your child has any of the following health conditions:

  • a pneumothorax
  • pneumocephalus
  • bowel obstruction
  • recently had a middle ear surgery 
  • an eye disorder involving the globe of the eye
  • vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anemia)

Your child may eat and drink as normal before the procedure.

Nitrous Oxide is not safe during pregnancy. To ensure safety of all, Gillette requires pregnancy testing of individuals under certain conditions. Your nurse will discuss the need for pregnancy testing as needed. Additionally, if you are or could be pregnant, it is also important for you to remain out of the room while the nitrous oxide is being delivered.

What can I expect after the procedure?

A respiratory care practitioner will be with your child administering 100% oxygen as the effects of the nitrous oxide are wearing off. Common effects include:

  • sleepiness
  • irritability
  • clumsiness
  • dizziness
  • sick to their stomach
  • vomiting
  • a headache

If any of the effects of the nitrous oxide have not resolved at the time the oxygen is turned off, they are usually gone within a few minutes. The time that it takes to recover from sedation is different for everyone.

At Home Instructions:

It is important to check in on your child throughout the remainder of the day to ensure that they are feeling well, but they may return to their normal activities unless otherwise instructed by their provider.

If your child vomits:

  • Drink water, juice, or soup when they can drink without vomiting.
  • Make sure they have little or no nausea before returning to their normal diet.

When to Call Gillette

Contact a health care provider through Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890 if:

  • You have questions.
  • Your child vomits more than two times and continues to feel sick.
  • Your child stays sleepy, irritable or clumsy longer than expected.
  • There are signs 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; 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.