Doernbecher Children's Hospital

Eating and Drinking Guidelines Before Your Child's Surgery

Please read before the day of surgery

Type of food Options - Do not vary from options given Latest time you can eat or drink
All solid foods ALL solid foods Stop 8 hours before arrival time to hospital
Milk, formula and tube feeds Milk, formula and tube feeds Stop 6 hours before arrival time to hospital
Breast milk Only breast milk Stop 4 hours before arrival time to hospital
Clear liquids NO coloring or dyes Limited to water and CLEAR Pedialyte Limit to 8 oz, or 1 regular cup Stop 2 hours before arrival time to hospital

Nothing to eat or drink during the 2 hours before hospital arrival

  • Not following the above rules may result in delay and/or cancellation of your child's procedure.
  • Medications can be taken with sips of water, unless directed otherwise.
  • Make sure to keep all food out of reach of children once they can no longer eat. It's important to check the car and car seats before child enters.
  • The reasons these guidelines exist is for the safety and health of your child. Eating or drinking before the time of anesthesia may cause your child to vomit and choke during the procedure or in the time immediately after.
  • Please call 503-418-5303 for any questions, or if you need any clarifications. After 5:30 p.m. call 503-494-8311 and ask to speak to the pediatric anesthesiologist on call.

Download our Eating and Drinking Guidelines