The American Academy of Pediatrics answers questions from parents about preparing for anesthesia.

Except for emergencies, your child’s stomach should be empty when anesthesia is started. This helps prevent vomiting, which may cause food or stomach acid to get into the lungs. Prior to your child’s anesthesia, it is important to check with your surgeon or anesthesiologist about specific guidelines for your child. Here are general recommendations.

Infants younger than 1 year of age may have

Children of all ages may have

Each health care facility has its own specific guidelines for eating and drinking prior to anesthesia. If you do not follow your health care facility’s guidelines, your child’s procedure may be delayed, cancelled, or rescheduled.

Also, ask your anesthesiologist which, if any, of your child’s routine medicines may be taken on the day of anesthesia. Some types of medicines must be stopped prior to anesthesia. Almost all approved...

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