What can my child eat and drink the night before and day of his/her surgery or procedure?

All surgeries or procedures with Anesthesia need to follow these instructions.

  • No food for eight hours before your child’s procedure (even food or formula given through a feeding tube)
  • Your child may have:
    • Formula or milk up to six hours before the procedure
    • Breast milk or an unlimited amount of clear fluids up to four hours before the procedure
    • A limited amount of clear fluids up to two hours before the procedure if his/her doctor approves.
    • The amount is based on age:
      • 0 to 4 years old: no more than 2 ounces (1/4 cup)
      • 5 to 13 years old: no more than 4 ounces (1/2 cup)
      • Over 13 years old and adults: no more than 8 ounces (1 cup)
  • Clear fluids are:
    • Water
    • Apple or white grape juice
    • Carbonated drinks, such as soda pop
    • Sports drinks such as Gatorade®
    • Pedialyte®
    • Clear tea
  • No milk, creamer, or lemon added to any drinks
  • No gum, mints, or candy
  • Do not eat or drink two hours before the procedure.

Your child’s stomach must be empty for the procedure. We do not want food from your child’s stomach to get into his/her lungs during the procedure. The procedure will be delayed or rescheduled if you do not or cannot follow these instructions.

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