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					Enemas
Patient and Family Education

What are enemas?

Enemas are a type of medicine given through the rectum (bottom). They help your child to have a bowel movement.
Safety tip:

Give enemas to your child only if your child’s doctor says it’s OK.
How should I give a prepackaged enema? (See picture on the next page)
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Wash your hands before and after giving the enema. Remove the enema tip cap. To make it easier to give the enema: - Have your baby or toddler lie on his tummy with his knees bent and his bottom up in the air. Or, you can place him on his tummy across your lap - Have your child lie on his left side with one or both legs bent - Allow teenagers to give the enema to themselves if preferred Put warm water or water-soluble jelly (such as KY Jelly®) on the enema tip to make it easier to insert Insert the enema tip slowly and gently, pointing the tip toward the belly button. Insert it just past the anal spincter, the muscle inside the rectum. If you meet resistance, do not force it. Give the enema slowly by squeezing the plastic bottle. A small amount of extra fluid may remain in bottle. Hold your child’s buttocks closed for about five minutes after giving the enema. This allows enema fluid to soften stool. Place a diaper on your baby, or place your young child on a potty chair. Allow older children to go to the toilet. Clean their skin afterwards as needed. Tell your child that this will not take long and will make him feel better. Let him know the medicine needs to be taken in this way to help him feel better Have someone gently hold your child if he will not stay still Treat your child with a firm, calm, caring, “no nonsense” attitude Respect your toddler’s or older child’s privacy by using a quiet room away from other family members Place a towel or sheet over your child so that just the rectum can be seen Distract your child with stories, songs, videos or back rubs Praise your child for being cooperative Comfort your child when you are done Make sure your child knows this is NOT a punishment but is needed to feel better

What can I do to help calm my child?
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In case of an urgent concern or emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away. This is general information and is not specific medical advice for your child. Always consult your child’s doctor or other healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about the care or health of your child. A Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta pediatric advice nurse is available 24 hours a day at 404-250-KIDS.
Pediatrics l PFEP 003 / 07.08 / Enemas

Enemas, continued
When should I call the doctor?

Call your child’s doctor if he: • Does not have a bowel movement after the enema. • Cannot have a bowel movement without an enema or laxative on a regular basis. • Vomits or has stomach pain that does not stop after the enema. • Has blood in his bowel movement. Also call if you have any questions or concerns about how your child looks or feels.

Rectum

Enema tip inside the rectum

In case of an urgent concern or emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away. This is general information and is not specific medical advice for your child. Always consult your child’s doctor or other healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about the care or health of your child. A Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta pediatric advice nurse is available 24 hours a day at 404-250-KIDS.
Pediatrics l PFEP 003 / 07.08 / Enemas


				
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