Radiology Sedation

Choosing a safe, effective plan for your child

While sedation isn’t always necessary, sometimes it’s required for your child to be able to stay still through the entirety of an imaging procedure. At Texas Children’s Hospital, our specialized pediatric anesthesiologists aim to provide the safest, most efficient approach for your child to receive the test 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’ll choose sedation plan that will work best for your child’s safety and comfort — our top priorities. The sedation team includes admission counselors, anesthesia professionals, nurses, patient care assistants, radiologists and radiology technologists.

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, they’ll likely not need sedation. If they move or wiggle, even a little, they’ll 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.

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 before your appointment to review your child's medical history and explain any dietary restrictions. These restrictions are known as NPO guidelines. It’s very important to follow these instructions because serious medical problems can occur your child has any food or liquid in their stomach during sedation.

For your child’s stomach to be empty, we must wait:

  • 1 hours for clear liquids (water, soda, apple juice, sports drinks)
  • 4 hours for breast milk
  • 6 hours for non-human milk or a light non-fat meal
  • 8 hours for a heavy or fatty meal (especially fried foods, meats and cheeses)

Arrive 60 minutes early for your scheduled appointment

To ensure that your child and others can be cared for in a timely manner, we ask that you arrive 60 minutes before your child’s scheduled appointment time to complete these 8 important steps:

Anesthesia Banner


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

Call us if you’re running late

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