Language Development Affected by Anesthesia?

Child on Swingset

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Parents like to imagine what their child might grow up to be like, even while they’re still filling out their wedding invitations or decorating the nursery. With a little bit of luck, your child will grow into a healthy, happy adult without ever needing heavy-duty medical treatment for a serious issue. But life doesn’t always work out that way, and sometimes young kids have to undergo surgery. Surgery often requires anesthesia so that the child sleeps during the procedure without feeling any pain. There have always been risks and complications associated with anesthesia, such as stroke, lung infections, mental confusion, and heart attack. Fortunately, those complications are quite rare. And when compared to the potential consequences of not having the surgery, the choice is often a no-brainer. But recent evidence raises a new question: could anesthesia affect speech and language development?

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