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A 36-year-old member asked:

What is the best way to convince a toddler to cooperate during administration of anesthesia?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Christopher Guzik
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Depends on the type: Local anesthesia can generally be painlessly provided to toddlers and infants by gently pinching the skin around the injection site. For older children try an ice pack on the area for a few minutes. Emla (lidocaine and prilocaine) cream my also be used to numb the skin prior to any injection or painful skin procedure.
Dr. Helle Lukk
Family Medicine 41 years experience
Depends on the type: I agree with dr guzzik, but it basically comes down to distracting the child from what is being done until it is done. . For local anesthesia, i agree with the above. For general anesthesia- keeping the caregivers with the child as long as possible helps to ease the transition. Toddlers sense when mom or dad are scared- so staying calm is really important. The caregiver on our side helps a lot.
Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology 31 years experience
Varies by patient: Most, if not all, toddlers are not really thrilled about going with a stranger. Having an induction room so anesthesia can be started with the family present works outside of the operating room. If the child has to go to the operating room without the family, having the child take oral sedation agents prior to leaving their family is helpful. The techniques vary with the tolerance of the toddler.

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Last updated Apr 24, 2015

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