Patients and Families Anesthesia and Your Child

Why is anesthesia safety important?

New FDA Warning About Prolonged Anesthesia in Children Less Than 3 Years of Age
On Dec. 14, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety announcement regarding the potential effect of anesthetics on children younger than 3 years of age. Recent studies suggest that a single, relatively short exposure to general anesthetic and sedation drugs in infants or toddlers is unlikely to have negative effects on behavior or learning. However, further research is needed to fully characterize how early life anesthetic exposure affects children’s brain development.

What can you do as a parent or caregiver?

Because anesthesia or sedation is necessary during most procedures to keep your child safe and comfortable, discuss the following items with a member of your child’s healthcare team before the procedure:

  • Should the procedure be done now or when the child is older?
  • How long is the procedure expected to take?
  • Will repeated or additional procedures be needed?

Facts and questions sheet:

Learn more at Texas Children’s Hospital Department of Anesthesiology.