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Pediatric Care at Rice
At Rice we understand that when children are hurt or ill, treating them is not the same as treating adults.
Children have a special place at Rice. With state-of-the-art equipment and a staff who are experienced in caring for children, we are able to provide a place where children are comfortable and their families are welcome.
- Care and Services
- Sedation FAQ
Philosophy of Treatment
At Rice, your child will have access to the latest technology, But we realize that sometimes the necessary technology and procedures are scary and overwhelming to a child. That is why we always take the time to explain each test and procedure before it is performed in age-appropriate language.
We want to make sure your child is made as comfortable as possible with all that is being done to make him or her feel better.
While we hope that your child's stay with us is brief, we have worked to create an atmosphere that is as comfortable and safe. We have televisions in every room with videotapes available and even several portable Nintendo© machines. We also have a playroom filled with games, books, puzzles, and other playroom equipment. And if it eases your child's anxiety, we encourage you to bring familiar items from home.
Visiting hours are from 11:00 am until 8:00 pm, but can fluctuate depending upon each family's needs. We encourage nap time from 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm.
One parent may sleep overnight in the room if you wish. We ask, however, that if and when you do leave your child that he/she be truthfully prepared for your leaving and return visit. Children need a truthful explanation of why they are being left in the hospital. When you leave a nurse will be there to console your child.
For more information contact:
Jan Maxfield, Director of Women and Children's Care
What is nitrous oxide?
Nitrous oxide is a very quick-acting inhaled sedation medicine that decreases discomfort and anxiety. As with all medicines, there are benefits, side effects, and risks. Be sure to discuss any questions with the doctor or nurse.
How is it given?
You child will inhale the medicine through a mask, breathing in and out normally through the nose. Your child can pick the smell of the mask, such as bubble gum or strawberry. Sometimes, younger children resist the mask. If this happens, the nurse may gently help hold the mask in place.
The nitrous oxide will make your child feel relaxed and sleepy. It does not cause a deep sleep, as general anesthesia does. It will be given a few minutes before the procedure starts and may continue until it is finished. For safety during sedation, a nurse will monitor your child until the medicine has worn off.
What are the risks or side effects when nitrous oxide is used?
Nitrous oxide is safe for use in children and there are no long- term side effects. The following side effects may occur for a short time: headache, nausea, or vomiting. In some cases relaxation may not happen when nitrous oxide is used. The nurse will also discuss any health concerns with you before your child receives the nitrous oxide.
What are the benefits of using nitrous oxide?
Nitrous leads to relaxation and decreased anxiety during the time it is being given. If your child is able to listen and follow simple instructions the procedure will go better. Another benefit to using nitrous oxide is that it is very short-acting, thus within minutes your child will be feeling "normal" again.
What other choices besides nitrous oxide sedation are there?
The specific choice is based on the procedure and your child's health, so talk with your child's physician about it. For procedures that are very quick or require the child to be awake and able to follow instructions the other choice may be no sedation. If you have any concerns about your child receiving nitrous oxide sedation, please discuss this with your child's physician or the nurse before your child receives any sedation.
How can I help my child?
You are welcome to stay in the room while your child is receiving the nitrous oxide. For some procedures, you may be able to stay the entire time. Having you stay in the room during the procedure may be helpful to your child. Pregnant women are not allowed in the room because of an extremely rare but possible risk to the unborn baby. Reassure and explain to your child in simple words what is being done and why. Always tell the truth. Remain calm; the more relaxed you and your child are, the easier the test will be.
What else do I need to know?
All children are unique and may respond to nitrous oxide differently on each occasion.
What can I expect after the nitrous oxide is stopped?
Once the mask is removed, nitrous oxide wears off very quickly. Usually, children wake up comfortably. Sometimes they may be a little confused and irritable, but this usually lasts only a very short time. A nurse will monitor your child until the medicine has worn off. If your child is an outpatient, you must stay with him or her. Your child may eat right away unless there is a reason not to, such as another test. Once home, your child may go back to regular activities.