This page gives you advice on how to care for your child after they have been given sedation during their hospital attendance.

What is sedation?

Sedation is given to help reduce your child’s pain and anxiety when attending the hospital for a procedure. The sedation may make your child feel sleepy and relaxed, meaning the procedure can be performed more easily and with less distress for your child and you. Your child may not remember the procedure at all or only remember small amounts.

Most types of sedation are oral liquids, a tablet or a gas that they breathe in.

What does having sedation involve?

During sedation your child will be cared for by a doctor and a nurse.

Your child may become very sleepy. They may also become disorientated or confused.

Your doctor will have talked with you about any possible risks involved before your child is given the sedation.

After the procedure

We encourage you to stay with your child. They may not remember where they are or why they are in hospital. This can be a distressing time for them and they will need you to reassure them.

Going home after having sedation

After having sedation your child will have been observed in hospital until they appear alert. Most children will recover within 90 minutes. Once they are fully awake, can walk unaided and have had something to eat or drink they will be able to go home.

When you take your child home, they will need to be supervised closely for the first 8 hours following the sedation. Sometimes the delayed effects of the medicines may make your child confused, sleepy or clumsy. To keep your child safe after sedation please follow the advice below:

  • Make sure that your child is completely awake, alert and does not feel sick before giving them food or drink.
  • Do not leave them alone in the bath.
  • Any activities which could lead to your child injuring themselves such as riding bikes or horses, climbing or using a trampoline should be avoided.

For 24 hours after having sedation children should also avoid any physical sports including swimming.

Your healthcare professional will advise the medicine, the dose, and the time it was given.

Contact information

If you have any concerns after your child has been discharged, please contact the Paediatric Department or NHS 111 for advice.

Paediatric Department

Tel: 07798 695 981 (24 hours a day)

NHS 111

Tel: 111

Printable version of this page

Taking children or young people home after sedation GHPI1432_09_23 Department: Paediatrics Review due: September 2026 PDF, 294.6 KB, 3 pages
Reference number GHPI1432_09_23
Department Paediatrics
Review due September 2026