Written by Editorial Team
Both adults as well as kids struggle with constipation. In such cases, adding more fiber to the diet minimizes and even heals the problem. Moreover, laxatives can also be taken as a measure. However, all these efforts fail if the stool is too hard to pass. In such instances, administering an enema to a child fixes the issue. Now, this poses a valid question- is enema safe for children?
If you’re thinking of doing an enema on your child, you must be very cautious because doing it incorrectly may cause infection and tearing of anal tissues. Further, too often relying on an enema for cleansing the bowels will prevent their body from developing its own mechanisms for healthy bowel movements. And if your child cannot hold the enema solution inside, you can follow certain things which are mentioned in this article. Read on to find out more about enema for children.
In This Article
You are not able to define the procedure of letting water enter your child’s colon in a reverse way as safe. However, the doctors themselves opt for an enema as a safe last resort to facilitate bowel movement. If your child is 2 years old or above, and is not responding to any other remedy for constipation, an enema can be reliable. A doctor can demonstrate how to administer an enema to your little one and provide you with the instructions to do it independently.
Flushing fluids into the colon via the rectum softens the hard stools and an easy-to-pass mush is formed (1a). Additionally, the fluids take up the space inside the colon, creating pressure and stimulating the bowels to release the waste. And when it exits out of the anus, no pain is felt during this harmless process.
Here are the different types of enemas administered to children-
Its use is prevalent, offering quick results with easy instructions to follow. Sodium phosphate enema is the aftermath of a blend of salt and water (saline). These types of medications are categorized as saline laxatives (2). The presence of this solution inside the colon draws water, softening the stools and making them easily passable (3).
The distinctive properties of mineral oil makes it a good lubricant for the colon. It fuses with the stool and the discomfort associated with constipation gets minimized.
Once you have observed a doctor perform an enema on your child, you can proceed and do it at home. Listed below are the material required and step-by-step procedure-
A small lubricant
Enema tube with a soft tip
Non powdered gloves
It might not be possible for a young child to hold their urge to poop once the liquid is inside their colon. Ask your child to take regular deep breaths. This will soothe and delay the pressure to go to the toilet immediately.
Before you administer an enema to your child, ensure that you read the following precautions carefully-
You should do an enema on your child only when your doctor suggests so, after concluding that all other non-invasive alternatives to relieve their bowels aren’t possible. Performing a few enemas on your child will reverse the condition of their bowels to well-being and they’ll again be pooping without its assistance.
If done carefully, enemas should be safe, but if done incorrectly, some side effects can emerge, like-
The water enters the colon and pulls out more water from its walls, leading to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances (4).
Good bacteria are also present in the colon. Doing a lot of enemas flushes them out, and causes digestive problems.
Sterilize the enema equipment before you use it or it may give rise to infections in your child.
An enema is completely safe for children older than 2 years of age. The enema solution blends with the hard stools and softens them, making their exit painless and rapid. It is crucial to note that you must only do an enema on your child after you’ve seen your doctor do it. Additionally, an enema, if overdone, leads to many problems such as electrolyte imbalances, infections, and so forth. So, better to first let the body do its own stuff and only use enema when everything else fails.
If your little one is older than 2 years, it is alright to administer an enema to them.
It is better to ask for your doctor’s guidance rather than making an independent decision. A healthcare provider can tell you when an enema is to be performed, so that no complications are caused.
If the suppositories are not working to reverse constipation, an enema is prescribed as a last resort.
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