Fasting instructions

It is very important for your child to fast (no food or drink) before their operation. Fasting allows your child’s stomach to be completely empty. If the stomach is not empty, food may enter the lungs during the anaesthetic, which can be very dangerous.

Fasting instructions are usually given by the Surgeon’s rooms with all the other relevant hospital paperwork.

A fasting guideline to follow is; (unless you have been given specific instructions otherwise)

Under 12 months old
6 hours solids
4 hours milk (breast or bottle)
2 hours clear fluids

Over 12 months old
6 hours solids
2 hours clear fluids

Solids are defined as a light meal such as cereal, a sandwich, toast. Clear fluids take less time to pass through the stomach so may be given closer to the time of the procedure. Clear fluids are drinks that you can see through such as water or clear apple juice.

If your child has a medical condition or if you have any concerns regarding your fasting instructions, please call our rooms to discuss with the Anaesthetist.