How to Give Enemas to Children

An enema, also known as a colonic, is a procedure designed to cleanse waste from the bowels. Some medical practitioners believe that enemas can help relieve constipation and other medical problems. The process of giving an enema involves filling the last 12 to 24 inches of the colon with a liquid, usually with castile soap or oil added. The liquid softens the waste in the colon, allowing the recipient to eliminate the waste more easily.

A young girl is experiencing a stomach ache.
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Step 1

Unscrew the lid from the enema bottle or bag, and attach the tube. Fill the bag or bottle with warm water and castile soap or oil, which is usually included with the enema kit. Attach the insertion tip to the other end of the tube.

Step 2

Ask your child to lie on his left side with his right leg bent toward his chest.

Step 3

Put on latex gloves. Coat the tip of the enema tube with personal water-based lubricant.

Step 4

Gently insert the tip of the enema tube into the child's anus. Squeeze the tube or bag to flush the liquid into the child's colon.

Step 5

Wait 15 to 20 minutes for the liquid to soften the waste in your child's colon. If the child is very young, gently hold the buttocks together to keep the child from expelling the liquid prematurely.

Step 6

Ask the child to sit on the toilet. Allow the child to eliminate the liquid and the waste in the colon.

Things You'll Need

  • Enema bottle or bag

  • Warm water

  • Castile soap or oil

  • Enema tube with soft tip

  • Unpowdered latex gloves

  • Personal lubricant


If your child feels the need to eliminate before the 15 to 20 minutes are up, ask your child to breathe as if she were blowing out birthday candles. This can help reduce the urge to expel the enema liquid.


Do not force the insertion tip into your child's anus. This may tear the anal tissues, which can cause bleeding and possible infection. Wait until your child relaxes so you can insert the tip easily.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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