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Moderate Sedation In Children


Moderate sedation is medicine given during a procedure or treatment to help your child feel relaxed and calm. It may also be given to help decrease your child's movement during a procedure or treatment. The medicine may be given as a pill, shot, inhaled solution, or injection through an IV. Your child will be awake and able to follow directions. Moderate sedation can be used for procedures such as wound repair, fracture reduction, or a lumbar puncture.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your child cannot be woken.
  • Your child has trouble breathing.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your child complains of a severe headache or dizziness, or cries constantly.
  • Your child's heart is beating faster than usual.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has a fever or chills.
  • Your child has nausea or is vomiting for longer than 8 hours after the procedure.
  • Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or he or she has a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Care for your child:

  • Give your child plenty of liquids to help flush the medicine out of his or her body. Ask how much liquid to give your child and which liquids are best for him or her.
  • Give your child small, frequent meals to prevent nausea and vomiting from the medicine. Start with clear liquids such as cranberry juice or ginger-ale. If your child does okay with clear liquids, start giving your child his or her usual foods.
  • Limit your child's activity to prevent accidents. After moderate sedation, your child may feel lightheaded and unsteady on his or her feet. Do not leave your child alone. Have your child lie on the couch or rest quietly until the day after the procedure. Walk with your child to the bathroom. Your child should not play sports or do vigorous activity after moderate sedation. Your child may be able to return to his or her normal activities in 24 hours.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.