Risks of sedating a toddler

Sibert would have no problem with her grandsons having a procedure in a dentist's office if all it would require is “local anesthesia, nitrous, and cartoons.” Kids can come out of sedation a little slower than adults and need prolonged observation, Swanson said.

Before you go home, make sure your child is no longer sedated — he’s not falling asleep and not slowing his breathing, Swanson noted.

Araceli Avila never dreamed that her daughter's life might be at risk during a visit to the dentist.

But on June 12, Daleyza Hernandez Avila, 3, died during a dental procedure.

"We advise members to use extreme caution when they're looking at sedating a child less than 3. Get up and walk out if somebody says, "Oh, I took a weekend course and I just started doing this, but it's going to be OK," said Dr. The staff should be prepared to recognize and respond to crisis situations. Instinct matters, so if you feel unsettled, consult another doctor, Swanson said.

For those under the age of 2, I would recommend anesthesia be done in a hospital setting." Before child undergoes any serious dental procedure: Parents should ask questions until they have no more, and they should always feel they have all the information they need to give consent for an elective procedure, said pediatrician Swanson. What procedure are you going to do and do you have to do it? It also is appropriate to ask about the office's safety record, he added. Are you going to use a Papoose Board — a temporary restraint? “Get a second opinion if it's not a crisis — and very little dental work is a crisis,” Sibert added.

“It doesn’t take much to obstruct a small child’s airway. They can choke on a little bit of blood.” In a hospital or an ambulatory surgery center, there are medical support systems to help a child in distress.

In an office setting,"by the time anyone gets there, the child is in such deep trouble, it’s too late,” said Sibert.

Jim Nickman, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. "I would insist on a separate qualified anesthesia professional looking after my child," Sibert advised. How much experience does this person have caring for kids my child’s age? How will my child be monitored during the procedure? Ask if the office has EKG, blood pressure, pulse oximetry and end tidal carbon dioxide monitors, Rafetto said. Who is going to be in the room if something goes wrong?And last summer, two children lost their lives after undergoing extensive dental procedures.According to a Dallas Morning News investigation in 2015, a dental patient dies nearly every other day in the United States.Without data on deaths from all the state boards it’s impossible to determine where the problems are and how to fix them, Mashni said. Jay Friedman, a California-based dental consultant and author. You have to do something really bad before anything gets done about it.” In Friedman’s experience, many young children are being over-treated by their dentists.And children are more likely to be over-treated if they are under full sedation, he said.

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