My Child Has... Article

My Child Has...

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Sedation or Analgesia: Home Care Instructions


Your child has received a sedative or strong pain-reliever during the outpatient visit. For a few hours after sedation, your child should not do anything by himself. Children can be sleepy for many hours. Simple things like walking up stairs or playing with certain toys can be dangerous if the child is left alone. Some children may be agitated after the sedation. They may have active or bad dreams, or rarely, hallucinate (see things that are not there). Your child may feel nauseous and may even vomit. Double vision or blurred vision can also occur.

Your child may still be a little sleepy or clumsy for the next 24 hours, so you will need to be careful.

  • Have someone watch your child while riding in the car on the way home. If your child falls asleep at any time in the next 6 hours, watch him or her all the time to make sure that your child has no difficulty breathing.
  • Help your child with walking for the next 4 hours
  • Do not allow your child to do any activity that requires coordination such as riding a bike, tricycle, scooter, or skateboard for the next 24 hours
  • Do not allow your child to drive any motorized vehicle for 24 hours.

Follow any other instructions given today and see your regular healthcare provider for further care.

Call 911 or your healthcare provider immediately if:

  • Your child cannot sit or walk.
  • Your child gets more confused rather than more alert.
  • Your child still seems too sleepy or confused after 4 to 6 hours.
  • It is hard to wake up your child.
  • Your child has a hard time breathing or is breathing much more slowly than normal.
  • Your child looks dusky or blue.
  • Your child is vomiting and is unable to keep down small amounts of clear liquids.
  • you have any questions or concerns.

Written by The Section of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Denver.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-01-09
Last reviewed: 2010-11-29

This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a health care professional.

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