NPO Guidelines

It is very important that children not eat or drink before surgery. This process is known to many as “fasting.” Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals refer to it as “NPO.” It is important that patients follow the guidelines exactly how they as detailed below. Failure to follow any of the NPO times below will result in postponement, or even cancellation, of the child’s surgery.

Babies younger than 6 months of age:

  • No clear liquids up to three (3) hours before surgery.
  • No breast milk up to four (4) hours before surgery.
  • No formula milk up to six (6) hours before surgery.
  • No solid food up to eight (8) hours before surgery.

Children 6 months of age or older:

  • No clear liquids up to three (3) hours before surgery.
  • No breast milk up to six (6) hours before surgery.
  • No formula milk up to eight (8) hours before surgery.
  • No solid food up to eight (8) hours before surgery.

Solid foods include regular food, non-human milk, juice, nectar, vegetable juice, Jell-O, gum and candy.

Clear liquids include clear apple juice, sugar water, water, 7-up, and balanced salt solution (Gatorade type drinks).