Fasting and consent for procedures

Fasting and consent for procedures

If your child with cancer is having anaesthesia or sedation they will have to stop eating food at least 6 hours before the procedure. Your child will be able to have breast milk up to 4 hours before the procedure. Your child will be able to have clear drinks up to 2 hours before the procedure.

Key points to remember

  • your anaesthetist will tell you exactly what time your child needs to stop eating and drinking

Fasting from food and drink before anaesthesia and sedation

If your child is having anaesthesia or sedation, your anaesthetist will tell you exactly what time your child needs to stop eating and drinking.

Your child will have to stop eating food at least 6 hours before the procedure. This means all food, including:

This page is part of a whole section about childhood cancer.

  • jelly
  • lollies
  • chewing gum
  • baby formula
  • cow's milk
  • juice containing pulp
  • milk products such as yoghurt and ice-cream
  • fizzy drinks

Read more about childhood cancer treatments.

Your child will be able to have breast milk up to 4 hours before the procedure.

Your child will be able to have clear drinks up to 2 hours before the procedure. Clear drinks include:

  • water
  • clear juice
  • ice popsicles
  • Pedialyte from the pharmacy

Check 'External links and downloads' below for resources at the Health and Disability Commissioner website.​

Informed consent

Your doctor and other health professionals will share with you and your child all the information and advice you need to make a decision about having a procedure. This is called informed consent. 

The ethical basis for the principle of informed consent comes from Right 7 of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights. You can ask for a copy of the Code from your hospital.

When you give consent, your health professional will ask you to sign a consent form. You might just need to give verbal consent for something minor.

All the pages in the childhood cancer section of this website have been written by health professionals who work in the field of paediatric oncology. They have been reviewed by the members of the National Child Cancer Network (NZ). Medical information is authorised by the clinical leader of the National Child Cancer Network.

This page last reviewed 10 May 2018.
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