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Surgery

Day before surgery guidelines

Fasting
Checklist

Fasting Guidelines

Follow these directions carefully, even if your child has tube feedings.

If your child is having an endoscopy, please follow the special fasting guidelines that your doctor gives you

If your surgeon or anesthesiologist tells you to give your child regular medications the day of surgery, give them with a very small sip of water only. Do not give medications with applesauce, yogurt or other foods, even if you usually give medications this way.

Offer your child or teen a healthy snack before bedtime the night before surgery.

Parents and caregivers should not fast with their children. Please eat as you normally would, so you will have the energy you need to support your child.

Some children and youth with on-going health problems may need to fast for 2 hours longer than other children. Your doctor will let you know if this is needed.

Why can’t my child eat or drink before surgery?

Everyone having anesthesia (sleep medicine for surgery) must have an empty stomach. While your child is in this deep sleep for surgery, any food or fluid in the stomach can come back up into the throat, and drain into the windpipe and lungs. This can cause breathing problems and infection, which can be very serious. Follow fasting directions carefully.

We may need to delay or cancel your child’s surgery if your child has something to eat or drink by mistake.

Babbies and toddlers under 2 years old:

No food after midnight.

Your child may have:

  • Formula, milk or fortified breast milk up to 6 hours before surgery
  • Breast milk up to 4 hours before surgery
  • Water, clear diluted apple juice or clear jello gelatin and nothing else up to 3 hours before surgery.

Do not give gum, candies or any fluids with red or purple food colouring (like red jello or sports drinks).

Children and youth (2 years and older):

No food, milk or dairy products after midnight

Children who are still breastfeeding can have breastmilk up to 4 hours before surgery.

Your child or teen may have:

  • Water, apple juice, ginger ale or jello gelatin and nothing else up to 3 hours before surgery.

Do not give gum, candies or any fluids with red or purple food colouring (like red jello or sports drinks).

Children who are still breastfeeding can have breastmilk up to 4 hours before surgery.

 

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