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How to Give Your Child an Enema (5960)

How to Give Your Child an Enema (5960) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Pediatrics, Parenting


How to Give Your Child an Enema

A rectal enema is one way to treat your child
if they are constipated.

Helpful Hints

ξ The enema should be at room
temperature before you give it.
ξ Distract your child before and after
giving the enema. You can try
reading to him, playing music, or
rubbing his back. Video games can
help keep your child distracted.
ξ Some parents may be anxious when
they have to give an enema. Keep in
mind it is medicine that your child
needs in order to feel better. Once
you have given it the first time, you
will see how easy it is to do.
ξ Explain to your child that you are
giving the enema to make him feel
better. Rub the covered tip against
his arm to show what the tip of the
enema will feel like when you insert

The Enema You Use Is Based on Your
Child’s Age

ξ Children 2 to 4 years, use one-half
(1/2) of a child size enema.
ξ Children 5 to 10 years, use one bottle
of a child size enema.
ξ Children 11 to 19, use one bottle of
an adult enema.

How to Insert a Rectal Enema

1. Wash your hands.

2. Remove the enema from the box. Take
the cover off the tip. The tip is
lubricated. This will make it easier to

3. Positions your child can try are:
ξ Lying on the left side with knees bent
toward the chest.
ξ On the back with legs raised as if to
change a diaper.
ξ On the stomach with knees to chest or
over your lap.

4. Hold the bottle in one hand. With your
other hand separate the buttock cheeks
until you can see the anal opening.

5. Ask your child to bear down, as if he
where having a bowel movement, to
make insertion easier. With steady
pressure, gently insert the tip of the
bottle into the anal opening. Do not
force the tip of the bottle into the anal
opening. Squeeze the bottle until the
correct amount is nearly gone. You will
know if you placed it far enough if the
enema does not come right back out.

6. Keep the child in position. Hold the
buttock cheeks together to keep your
child from pushing out the enema. Do
this for 15 to 20 minutes. If your child
feels the urge to pass the stool before the
desired time, have him take deep breaths
in and out, as though he were blowing
out birthday candles. This will help him
relax and lessen the urge to pass the

If you are not sure where to insert the enema
ask your health care provider. You may also
want to refer to the package insert that
comes with the enema. Pictures are often in
this handout.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©9/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5960.