Sometimes, sedation is required for you child to be able to stay still through the entirety of an imaging procedure. The radiology department partners very closely with specialized pediatric anesthesiologists at Texas Children's Hospital to provide the safest and most efficient care for your child to get the study they need.

Sedation services to maximize your child's comfort

Because you know your child best, our team will discuss the available sedation options for your child's procedure, and together, we will choose the safest and most effective sedation plan. From nurses to board-certified pediatricians and anesthesiologists, our experts are dedicated to the safety and comfort of your child.

The sedation team includes admission counselors, anesthesia professionals, nurses, patient care assistants, radiologists and radiology technologists.

What to know before your child's procedural sedation

To help us prepare for your child’s appointment and provide the best possible care for your child, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines.

Review and follow dietary restrictions

A nurse will contact you several days prior to your appointment to review your child's medical history and explain any dietary restrictions. These restrictions are known as NPO guidelines. It is very important to follow these instructions because serious medical problems can occur if there is any food or liquid in your child's stomach during the sedation.

In order for your child’s stomach to be empty, we must wait:

  • 2 hours for clear liquids (water, sprite, apple juice, gatorade)
  • 4 hours for breast milk
  • 6 hours for non-human milk or a light meal
  • 8 hours for a heavy or fatty meal (especially fried foods, meats, and cheeses)

Arrive 90 minutes early for your scheduled appointment

In order to ensure that your child and others can be cared for in a timely manner, we ask that you arrive 90 minutes before your child’s scheduled appointment time to complete the 8 important steps depicted below.

Anesthesia Banner


Just like arriving early for an airplane flight, this process allows us to safely sedate and care for your child. It also helps us keep our other patients on schedule.

Call us if you are running late

If you are running late, please call us at 832-824-5301. We will make every effort to accommodate your child without causing delays for other children. If you are late, your child may be rescheduled for later in the day, and in some instances, it may need to be rescheduled on another day.

Is sedation necessary?

Please note, your child must hold perfectly still for 45 to 90 minutes to complete an MRI without sedation.

If you think your child may not need sedation, you can test them at home. Ask your child to lie on a bed and freeze like a statue for 30 minutes. If they can do this without moving, the will likely not need sedation. If they move or wiggle, even a little, they will likely need sedation. If you want your child to try without anesthesia and are scheduled for anesthesia, your child may be delayed until the end of the day.