Ready to use enema (1348)

Key points below

What is an enema?

An enema helps get stool (poop) out of the rectum. Liquid is put into the rectum which makes it easier for your child to pass stool.

What supplies are needed?

Follow these steps

  1. Warm the enema. Put enema bottle in a bowl of warm water. Do not use the microwave to warm it.
  2. Get your supplies. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  3. Help your child into one of the positions shown in Figures 1 or 2.

Figure 1Figure 2

  1. Take the orange cap off the enema tip.
  2. Gently put the tip of the enema into the child’s rectum.
  3. Gently squeeze the enema container to get all the liquid into your child’s rectum. Pull the tip out of the rectum. Don’t worry if a small amount of liquid is still in the container.
  4. Have your child hold the liquid inside for 3 to 5 minutes. Your child should lay flat for these 3-5 minutes. If they stand up too soon the liquid will leak out without helping them to pass the stool at all. If your child is young, gently hold the buttocks together for 10-15 seconds to keep the liquid inside.
  5. Help your child to the toilet or potty-chair. Very young children may do better to let the liquid and stool go into a diaper.
  6. You can help your child to have better results from their enema by teaching them to squat or holding them in a squatting position.
  7. Praise your child for cooperating with receiving the enema.
  8. Note how the stool looked and how much there was.
  9. Throw away all of the equipment including the tube cap.
  10. Wash your hands well with soap and water.

How will an enema feel to my child?

An enema is not painful for a child to receive. Some cramping may be felt as the enema begins to work and the stool in the colon starts to move. You can help your child if they are uncomfortable to relax with encouragement to breathe deeply and also to push. Reassure your child that they will feel much better when all the stool gets out.

If your child is sensitive to latex, be sure the supplies you use are latex-free!


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child:

  • Does not pass stool in two hours.
  • Has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.

Do not give more than one enema in 24 hours.