After Your Child's Sedation Procedure

When the test or procedure is complete, if the child received medication for relaxation or sleep he or she will be transferred to a recovery area. The child will be monitored until the medication wears off and he or she is awake and able to drink fluids. This usually takes one to three hours.

The child will stay in the recovery area for at least one hour. Parents can stay with their child while they are in the recovery area.

After one hour, and once the child is awake and able to drink fluids without vomiting, he or she will be discharged.

If an IV was inserted, it will be taken out when the child is awake and ready to go home.

Going home  

  • The child should not walk alone until he or she is stable on his or her feet.
  • While in the car, young children need to be restrained in a car safety seat and older children need to be restrained with a seat-belt.
  • Two people should be available to assist older children into the house.

At home  

  • Quiet activity is okay on the day of the procedure.
  • A child may take a long nap.
  • A child may sleep up to eight hours and may be drowsy and irritable for up to 24 hours following sedation.
  • When a child is asleep, he or she should easily be awoken.
  • The child may be unsteady when walking or crawling and will need adult supervision to prevent any injury.
  • An adult must be with the child at all times until the child has returned to his or her usual state of alertness and coordination.
  • Young children (infants and toddlers) should play only on carpeted floors. Block stairs and doorways with safety gates. Pad the corners of sharp tables. Remove wheeled toys or chairs. Older children (preschoolers to adolescents) should rest in an area where an adult can watch them.
  • Escort the child when walking, including trips to the bathroom.
  • The child should not perform any potentially dangerous activities such as riding a bike, swimming, driving, playing sports, playing outside, handling sharp objects, working with tools or climbing stairs until he or she is back to his or her usual state of alertness and coordination for at least one hour.

A child should not be sent to school or day care after the test. Also, if the child is still drowsy or unable to walk the following day they should be kept at home. This is a particularly possible if the child’s sedation medicine was given late in the day.