Pediatric Gastroenterology/Nutrition

Preparation Instructions for Colonoscopy

The preparation for a colonoscopy depends on the child's age. If you have any problems with the preparation, please call the office at (585) 275-2647. After office hours, call the office to contact the Pediatric GI provider on call.

Note: If your child is taking prescribed medications, please discuss with your child's physician. These instructions are followed exactly or the procedure may be cancelled.

Newborn – 18 Months

  • After 2:00 p.m. the day prior to the procedure, do not give your child any solids or formula. Give your child only clear, non-red liquids (Pedialyte, broth, Jell-O, juice, popsicles) for dinner and the morning of the procedure (up until four hours before the procedure).
  • The night before the procedure, give your child Fleet's BabyLax Enema. Your pharmacy may need to order the enema.

18 Months – 4 Years

  • For three days before the procedure, give your child large amounts of fluids, especially fruit juice, along with regular meals.
  • One and ½ days before the procedure, your child may consume only clear, non-red liquids (broth, Jell-O, juice popsicles). Solid foods and milk products are NOT allowed the 1½ days before the procedure.
  • At 2:00 p.m. the day before the procedure, give your child ¼ bottle (a bottle is 10 ounces) of chilled Magnesium Citrate. Either cherry or lemon-lime flavored is acceptable. (Children usually prefer the cherry flavor.) This is acceptable even though it is red. The child should drink the Magnesium Citrate within 20 minutes. At 7:00 p.m., give another ¼ bottle. The child’s stools should be watery and clear by 10:00 p.m.
  • The day of the procedure, the child should have nothing to eat or drink after 3:00 a.m.

4 Years – 8 Years

  • Several days before the procedure, give your child plenty of fluids along with regular meals.
  • Two days before the procedure, your child may have a normal breakfast and lunch. After lunch, your child may consume only clear, non-red liquids (broth, Jell-O, juice, popsicles). The same afternoon, or after school, give your child one 5 mg Dulcolax tablet. The child must swallow the pill, not chew it. Solid foods and milk products are not allowed after lunch, or until the procedure is completed.
  • At 2:00 p.m. the day before the procedure, give the child ½ bottle (a bottle is 10 ounces) of chilled Magnesium Citrate. Either cherry or lemon-lime flavored is acceptable. (Children usually prefer the cherry flavor.) This is acceptable even though it is red. The child should drink the Magnesium Citrate within 20 minutes. At 7:00 p.m., give another ¼ bottle. The child’s stools should be watery and clear by 10:00 p.m.

8 Years – 18 Years

  • Several days before the procedure, give your child plenty of fluids along with regular meals.
  • Two days before the procedure, your child may have a normal breakfast and lunch. After lunch, your child may consume only clear, non-red liquids (broth, Jell-O, juice, popsicles). The same afternoon, or after school, give your child one 10mg Dulcolax tablet. The child must swallow the pill, not chew it. Solid foods and milk products are NOT allowed after lunch, or until the procedure is completed.
  • At 2:00 p.m. the day before the procedure, give the child one bottle (a bottle is 10 ounces) of chilled Magnesium Citrate. Either cherry or lemon-lime flavored is acceptable. (Children usually prefer the cherry flavor.) This is acceptable even though it is red. The child should drink the Magnesium Citrate within 20 minutes. At 7:00 p.m., give another one bottle. The child’s stools should be watery and clear by 10:00 p.m.

The information provided is general information only and not to be used as medical advice. Please consult with your child's doctor for specific instructions related to your child's illness.

Connect with Golisano Children's Hospital

Golisano Children's Hospital Development

Contact Us

Pediatric Gastroenterology/Nutrition
Golisano Children's Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue
Box 667
Rochester, NY 14624

Phone: (585) 275-2647
Fax: (585) 275-0707

Office Hours

Monday – Friday,
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.