Moderate Sedation, Child

Your child has been given sedation today for a procedure. This was to help your child relax or even sleep through the procedure. Your child may remain sleepy and a little "out of it" for up to several hours after this procedure.

A responsible adult family member or friend should stay with the child until the medicines have worn off. Your child will need to be observed closely for the next 24 hours and should play indoors. Your child's coordination may be slightly impaired until all the medicine used today has completely worn off. Make sure you fully understand your child's medicine and possible side effects. Before leaving the hospital, ask questions if there is anything you do not understand.


  • Do not leave your child unattended at any time in a car seat. If the child falls asleep in a car seat, make sure his or her head remains upright. Watch him or her continuously to make sure there are no breathing difficulties.

  • You can expect your child to be confused for a while after he or she awakens. Stay close to your child, and comfort him or her as necessary. Often, children are unsteady on their feet for several hours after sedation. Do not allow your child to walk or stand without your help.

  • Never leave your child alone while he or she is still sleepy, unless it is bedtime and the child has normal behavior before going to sleep.

  • Your child may drink fluids and eat light foods when fully awake if he or she does not feel sick to their stomach (nauseous) or is not throwing up (vomiting). Slowly introduce liquids once you are home. The first drink should be plain water, then clear fruit juice, frozen ice pops, or sports drinks. Small drinks should be taken repeatedly. Avoid dairy products for the first 4 to 6 hours.

  • In the first 12 hours following IV sedation, your child may experience an increase in temperature. This is usually due to a young child's inability to sweat when given one of the anesthetic medicines. Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for fever as directed by your caregiver. Do not give aspirin to children.

  • Your child should not ride a bicycle, skate, use swing sets, climb, swim, use machines, or participate in any activity where he or she could become injured. Avoid these activities for at least 24 hours until your child is behaving and acting normally again.

  • Muscle aches and a sore throat, similar to a mild flu, may occur. This is very common after IV sedation and will usually disappear within 24 to 36 hours.

  • Supervise all play or bathing for the next 24 hours.

  • Make sure you and your family fully understand everything about the medicine given to your child and what side effects may occur.

  • Keep all appointments as scheduled. Follow all instructions.


  • Your child keeps throwing up (vomiting).

  • Your child develops a rash.

  • Your child becomes difficult to wake up.

  • Your child has trouble breathing.

  • Your child has an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.

  • Your baby is older than 3 months with a rectal temperature of 102° F (38.9° C) or higher.

  • Your baby is 3 months old or younger with a rectal temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher.

  • Your child does not appear normal.