Eating and Drinking Guidelines

Food and liquid restrictions before pediatric anesthesiology and sedation

Follow these important guidelines to help ensure your child’s safety for anesthesia or sedation, and to avoid cancellation of the procedure.

Patients younger than 6 months

  • 4 hours before check-in: stop breast milk, milk or formula. Only clear liquids such as water, apple juice or Pedialyte are permitted.

  • 2 hours before check-in: stop clear liquids. Nothing taken by mouth is permitted.

For children 6 months or older:

  • If you are feeding your child 6-8 hours before check in: this needs to be a light meal with low protein, low fat foods. Heavy meals delay stomach emptying and increase your child’s risks.

  • 6 hours before check-in: stop solid food, formula, milk, gum or candy. Do not consume carbonated drinks or meat broths. Only clear liquids such as apple juice, water or jello are permitted. 

  • 4 hours before check-in: stop breast milk. Only clear liquids such as water, apple juice or Pedialyte are permitted. 

  • 2 hours before check-in: stop clear liquids. Nothing taken by mouth is permitted.
Girl at table