Colonic Irrigation for Children


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Children over the age of 10 can undergo colonic irrigation therapy, however, it is generally advised as a last resort if other colon cleansing methods fail. It is a rather invasive treatment that may cause the child to be scared and very unwilling to undergo it. If the child is fearful of having a colonic irrigation, it may cause them to tense up as the tube is being inserted into the rectum, which will make it significantly more uncomfortable and possibly painful.

You should consult with a doctor or paediatrician if you are considering getting a colonic irrigation for your child. They may be able to recommend a gentler, less invasive option to solve the issues. If it is decided that colonic irrigation would be most beneficial to the child, you should ensure that they completely understand what colonic irrigation is and why will happen during the procedure in order to ease worry and ensure that they expect everything that will occur at the clinic.

Potential Risks

There are a number of possible risks that are exposed to children if they have colonic irrigation. These should be well considered before subjecting a child to colonic irrigation as they can be rather serious and need medical attention. These include:

  • Rectal perforations – The tube inserted up the anus may cause some tearing of the rectum or bowel tissue, especially if done incorrectly. If the child is scared or nervous and is tensing up, this can also increase the risk of perforation occurring. Rectal perforations can be painful and may lead to future infection.
  • Disease/infection – If the equipment has not been sterilised appropriately, it can cause the transfer of disease between clients. Children are especially vulnerable as their immune systems have not been exposed to as much as an adults, therefore it is more likely that they have not come across the infection before and will fall ill.
  • Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance – These tend to occur in conjunction with each other. These side effects can happen because the level of salt in the blood is knocked off-balance due to the removal of fluids.

Before allowing colonic irrigation to be performed on your child, you must weight up the potential benefits with the possible risks to see if this treatment really is the best option.


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