Preoperative Diet Guidelines for Children

Anesthesia is safest when given on an empty stomach. Surgery is likely to be postponed or cancelled if these diet guidelines are not followed.

Ages less than one year:

  • No solids (includes breast milk, formula, milk)┬ápast midnight.
  • Clear liquids allowed after midnight until four hours prior to surgery.

Ages 1-2 years:

  • No solids (includes milk) past midnight.
  • Clear liquids allowed after midnight until four hours prior to surgery.

Ages 2 years to 12 years:

  • No solids or liquids past midnight.
  • If the child’s surgery is scheduled after noon, clear liquids allowed after midnight until 7 a.m. on the day of surgery.

Ages 12 years and older:

Please be aware that failure to follow these guidelines places the child at higher risk for intraoperative complications and therefore may lead to a delay or postponement for the scheduled surgery.