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On the day before surgery, make sure to follow any instructions from your child's doctor. It is critical that you follow the eating and drinking restrictions. These restrictions are for your child’s own safety and will ensure the child’s stomach is empty in preparation for anesthesia.
If your child eats or drinks too close to the time of the procedure, please tell us immediately so the team can make certain it is safe to proceed. It is possible we will need to reschedule the procedure if it is unsafe.
These guidelines were created by members of our Pediatric Perioperative Surgical Home. Follow the guidelines based on your child’s age. You can also download this chart as a PDF.
Children’s Eating and Drinking Restrictions Before Surgery
Breastmilk and Formula
Less than 6 months
|STOP 2 hours prior to the time surgery is scheduled||STOP 4 hours prior to the time surgery is scheduled||N/a|
6 months and older, but less than 3 years
|STOP 2 hours prior to the time surgery is scheduled||STOP 6 hours prior to the time surgery is scheduled||STOP 8 hours prior to the time surgery is scheduled|
3 years and older, but less than 12 years
|STOP 2 hours prior to the time surgery is scheduled||N/a||STOP 8 hours prior to the time surgery is scheduled|
|Adolescents & Adults:
12 years and older
|STOP 2 hours prior to the time you are told to arrive||N/a||STOP 8 hours prior to the time surgery is scheduled|
Medications Before Surgery
Additionally, please check with your child’s doctor regarding whether or not your child should take his/her usual medications. Please do not give your child Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen) within the three days before surgery.
What to Read Next
Read about checking into surgery.