Information for children, carers and parents

The information in this section is for you or your parents/carers to read.

There are four different leaflets to read depending on your age. Children and young people have helped to write them and they show you what to expect when you have an anaesthetic and what choices there may be. There is also information for young people which is a more detailed guide to look at if you are a teenager. Your child's general anaesthetic leaflet is a useful leaflet for parents and carers and can help you understand what to expect and what choices you may be able to make together with your child.

Answers to commonly asked questions about your anaesthetic are also available in the FAQs section.






Information materials from other sources

This information below was originally prepared by individual anaesthetists for the use of patients in their own hospital. The RCoA has not been directly involved in their production and because of this we cannot formally endorse them. However, we can acknowledge that they meet the basic RCoA general standards for good quality patient information.

My Daycase Operation - A Resource for Children with Learning Difficulty

A resource designed to assist with the preparation and management of children attending for day surgery who have learning disability or language and communication difficulty.
Read more...>

Sedation for your Test or Treatment: A Guide for Young People

Part of the 'Sedation for children' leaflet series, consisting of three leaflets describing sedation for a test or treatment, aimed at children, parents and carers, and young people.
Read more...>


These linked videos have been made by individual anaesthetists in their own hospitals or by ForMed Films. The College considers the content is useful for children who are expecting to have an anaesthetic, and their parents or carers. The RCoA has not been directly involved in the production of any of these films, and as such, we cannot formally endorse them. However, the Professional Standards Committee and the Lay Committee of the College believe the films are useful and informative.

It should be noted that the films show the setting in the hospital in which the film was made. Other hospitals will vary in the environment, the arrangements for admission and the uniforms of staff. In particular, you must follow instructions about when to stop eating and drinking as given by your own hospital.

Parents and carers may also wish to explain to their child, if appropriate, that the first two films were made using child actors. The children in the films are 'pretending' to have an anaesthetic. The staff and settings used are real hospital facilities, and some children in the films have experience of anaesthesia.