Fasting infants and children can be stressful and difficult. To minimise distress and maximise safety, please adhere to the following guidelines.

Your child’s fasting plan should be discussed at booking.  While awaiting surgery the fasting plan will be reviewed at intervals with the anaesthetist to minimise dehydration.

Only the anaesthetist may alter the fasting guidelines. If your child appears likely to fast for much longer than these times please ask staff to contact the anaesthetist.

Click here for children less than 6 months of age

Morning operation – list starts at 8am

Your child must not eat food, lollies, jelly after 2am
No formula or cows milk after 4 am
No breast milk after 5am
Your child may drink clear fluids (see below) until 7am
Your child must not drink anything other than their medication after 7am

∗ Clear fluids are fluids which are transparent.  They include sugar-based drinks, cordials and clear juices.  They do not include milk-based or particulate products, such as orange juice.

Anaesthetists may modify the above if prolonged fasting is likely according to the principles below:

Formula or cow’s milk up to 4 hours before anaesthesia
Breast milk up to 3 hours before anaesthesia
Clear fluids up until 1 hour before anaesthesia

Afternoon operation – list starts at 1.30pm

Your child must not eat food, lollies, jelly after 07:30am
No formula or cows milk after 9:30am
No breast milk after 10:30am
Your child may drink clear fluids (see below) until 12.30pm
Your child must not drink anything other than their medication after 12.30pm 

∗ Clear fluids are fluids which are transparent.  They include sugar-based drinks, cordials and clear juices.  They do not include milk-based or particulate products, such as orange juice.

Anaesthetists may modify the above if prolonged fasting is likely according to the principles below:

Formula or cow’s milk up to 4 hours before anaesthesia
Breast milk up to 3 hours before anaesthesia
Clear fluids up until 1 hour before anaesthesia

Click here for children 6 months of age or older

Morning operation – list starts at 8am

Your child must not eat, consume any milk drinks (including breast or formula), food, lollies, jelly, or chewing gum after 2am
Your child may drink clear fluids (see below) until 7am and only sips of fluid after this to swallow medications if required.

∗ Clear fluids are fluids which are transparent.  They include sugar-based drinks, cordials and clear juices.  They do not include milk-based or particulate products, such as orange juice. Anaesthetists may instruct nursing staff to give your child clear fluids up until 1 hour before the anaesthetic time when this is known.

Afternoon operation – list starts at 1.30pm

Your child must not eat, consume any milk drinks (including breast or formula), food, lollies, jelly, or chewing gum after 7:30am
Your child may drink clear fluids (see below) until 12.30pm, and only sips of fluid after this to swallow medications if required.

∗ Clear fluids are fluids which are transparent.  They include sugar-based drinks, cordials and clear juices.  They do not include milk-based or particulate products, such as orange juice. Anaesthetists may instruct nursing staff to give your child clear fluids up until 1 hour before the anaesthetic time when this is known.

Medication

Please continue all normal medications (tablets, capsules and syrups) unless otherwise instructed by the treating doctor or anaesthetist.
Medications can be taken with a sip of clear fluid – even within 1 hour of surgery.
Children with diabetes will have special requirements.  Their diabetes doctor should make a written management plan for fasting, oral medications and insulin prior to surgery.