Enema Administration

An enema has been ordered for your child to treat or control constipation

Helpful hints:

  • The enema should be room temperature before you give it

  • Distraction can help your child before, during, and after giving the enema. You can read to them, play music, or play video games.

  • Try not to be anxious regarding giving the enema. This is a medicine your provider feels they truly need to feel better. We understand it can be awkward, but once you do it the first time you’ll feel much more prepared and confident.

  • Explain to your child that the enema is going to help him feel better. You can touch the tip of the tube against his hand or arm to show it’s not rough or scary. 

How to give a rectal enema:

  1. Wash your hands

  2. Gather towel

  3. Remove enema from box. Take plastic off tip end. Some enemas have a tip that is already lubricated and others have lubricant including in packaging. If lubricant is included, apply it to the tip of the enema generously.

  4. Position your child in one of the following ways

    a. Lying on left side. Draw both knees up to the chest or only right knee up to chest with left leg straight. (Most common)

    b. On their back with both knees drawn up to chest, such as with infants and a diaper change.

    c. On their stomach with their knees propped up and their face resting on a pillow or ground.

  5. Place towel under child’s buttocks between them and the surface they are lying on

  6. Use one hand to separate the buttock cheeks until you can see the anus. Use other hand to hold enema bottle.

  7. Place the enema tip into the anus. (For older children, having them bear down may make insertion easier). Begin to squeeze prescribed amount of medication, you know you are deep enough when solution doesn’t actively flow back out. Do NOT force tip into anus.

  8. Continue squeezing enema until whole prescribed amount is finished

  9. Remove tip from buttocks and hold buttocks together for 10-15 minutes. This is helping the medication stay inside the work to its full potential. Some children may begin to feel the urge to go to the bathroom before time is up, encourage them to take deep breaths and remain as still as possible.

  10. After 10-15 minutes, help your child to the toilet and encourage them to relax and take their time having bowel movement. Some children may have multiple for the next few hours.