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Learning About Anesthesia for Your Child

What is anesthesia?

Anesthesia controls pain during surgery or another kind of procedure. It could also make your child sleepy or forgetful. Or it may make your child unconscious. It depends on what kind of anesthesia is used. The doctor or nurse will make sure that your child is comfortable and safe during the procedure or surgery.

What are the types of anesthesia in children?

The main types are sedation and local, regional, and general anesthesia. Sedation relaxes your child or makes them feel sleepy. Local numbs a small area. Regional includes nerve blocks and spinal and epidural anesthesia. It numbs a larger region of the body. General affects the whole body and makes your child unconscious.

What are the risks of anesthesia?

Major side effects aren't common. But all types of anesthesia have some risk. The risk depends on your child's overall health. It also depends on the type of anesthesia and how your child responds to it. Serious but rare risks include breathing problems and a reaction to the medicine.

Some health conditions increase the risk of problems. Your child's anesthesia provider will find out about any health problems your child has that could affect your child's care.

A doctor will watch your child closely during the procedure. They'll make sure that your child stays safe and comfortable.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

Where can you learn more?

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