This was a randomized, double‐blind, controlled trial. The study was performed in Hunan Children's Hospital, approved by the Ethics Committee of Hunan Children's Hospital (HCHLL‐2016–002, Chairperson: Prof Si‐Jun Zhao), and registered in the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR‐IPR‐1900026795). Written informed consent was obtained from parents, and verbal consent was obtained from each child.

Potential participants were screened at the preoperative visit. Children aged 6 to 11 years with American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status of I and II and scheduled for elective hernia repair under general anesthesia were considered eligible for inclusion. The exclusion criteria were as follows: complicated hernia, a known allergy or hypersensitive reaction to dexmedetomidine or midazolam, long‐term use of sedative or analgesic drugs, long‐term use of steroids or anti‐inflammatory drugs, a history of surgery or anesthesia, current upper respiratory infections, asthma, developmental delay, psychological diagnosis requiring active treatment, or congenital or neurological diseases.

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