We recognize that the day of surgery can be stressful for both the patient and the family. In preparation for surgery, your child may have been asked to follow a special diet for the preceding 24 hours. It is important to follow these instructions closely to help ensure the success of the operation.

During surgery, the patient is given anesthesia so that he or she is completely unaware of the operation. For the safety of the child, we ask that you follow strict feeding instructions on the day of surgery. These are called “NPO” instructions and follow a 2 – 4 – 6 – 8 hour rule:

  • The child may have clear liquids up until 2 hours prior to your arrival time. Pedialyte, apple juice, water, and Gatorade are considered clear liquids. Orange juice and milk products are not clear liquids.
  • The child may have breast milk up until 4 hours prior to your arrival time.
  • The child may have formula up until 6 hours prior to your arrival time.
  • The child may have solid food including regular milk up until 8 hours prior to your arrival time. Baby food and rice-cereal are considered solids.
  • On the morning of surgery, the operating room nurses will ask you about the last thing your child ate or drank. For the safety of your child, surgery will be delayed or canceled if the 2 – 4 – 6 – 8 hour rule is not followed.