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Sedating children for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures remains an area of rapid change and considerable controversy. Exploration of this topic is made difficult by the fact that the reports of techniques and outcomes for pediatric sedation appear in a wide range of subspecialty publications and rarely undergo comprehensive examination. In this review article, we will touch on many aspects of the topic of pediatric sedation from the perspective of the anesthesiologist. We begin with a review of the historical role of anesthesiologists in the development of the current standards for pediatric sedation. We also examine the current status of pediatric sedation as reflected in published studies and reports. A specific review of the issues surrounding safety of sedation services is included. Current trends in sedation practice, including the expanding role of potent sedative hypnotic drugs outside the field of anesthesiology, are noted. Finally, we suggest future areas for research and clinical improvement for sedation providers.