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Preparation for Colonoscopy

These instructions are for reference only. If your gastroenterologist ordered a colonoscopy for your child, you should have received specific instructions, with the preparation that you should follow.

Proper preparation is VERY IMPORTANT. If your child’s bowels are not cleaned out well enough, the procedure may have to be rescheduled. If you are unable to follow the instructions or have any questions, please call our office at (585) 275-2647.

The Department of Anesthesiology requires that if your child menstruates, a urine pregnancy test will be done. This is typically done on the morning of the procedure.

Procedure is performed at Strong Hospital in the GI Endoscopy Room in the new Children’s Hospital Pediatric Surgical Center. Please call (585) 276-3110, Monday through Friday, between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on the business day prior to your procedure for your scheduled ARRIVAL TIME. It is very important to arrive ON TIME. As you come from the parking garage, stop at the main information desk in the lobby to get directions to the green elevators. Take the green elevators to the 4th floor.

Your child will be drowsy after the procedure and will need time to recover. The nurses will determine when he/she is ready to leave. Teenagers who can drive must have someone to drive them home.

If you must cancel your appointment, please do so as soon as possible. 48 hours is appreciated. If you are delayed, it is very important that you let us know. Please call our office at (585) 275-2647.

Preparation Instructions

Newborn - 18 months (choose one)

  • Fleets BabyLax Enema the night before the procedure. Your pharmacy may order if necessary. No solids or formula should be given after 2:00 p.m. the day prior to the procedure. Your child should be given only CLEAR NON-RED liquids (Pedialyte®, broth, Jell-O, juice) for dinner and the morning of the procedure (up until four hours before the procedure).

OR

  • Mix 1 capful of MiraLAX® in 8 ounces of clear liquid and give hourly for 2-3 doses. This will vary with the amount of stool in the colon.

18 months - 4 years

Child should be given large amounts of fluids, especially fruit juice for three days before the procedure, along with regular meals. One and a half days before the procedure, your child may consume only CLEAR, NON-RED liquids (broth, Jell-O, juice, and popsicles). Solid foods and milk products are NOT allowed the one and a half days before the procedure. Nothing to eat or drink after 3 am the day of the procedure.

  • At 2:00 p.m. the day before the procedure, give 1/4 bottle (bottle is 10 oz) 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 in color. The Magnesium Citrate must be taken within 20 minutes. At 7:00 p.m. give another 1/4 bottle. Stools should be watery and clear by 10:00 p.m.

OR

  • Mix 1 capful of MiraLAX in 8 ounces of clear liquid and give hourly for 4-6 doses. This will vary with the amount of stool in the colon.

4 years – 8 years

Child should be given plenty of fluids for several days before the procedure, 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, and popsicles).

  • The same afternoon, after school give your child (1) Dulcolax® 5mg. The pill must be swallowed. It cannot be chewed. Solid foods and milk products are NOT allowed after lunch, or until completion of the procedure. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the day of the procedure. At 2:00 p.m. the day before the procedure, give 1/2 bottle (bottle is 10 oz) of chilled Magnesium Citrate. Children usually prefer the cherry flavor. This is acceptable even though it is red in color. The Magnesium Citrate must be taken within 20 minutes. At 7:00 p.m. give another 1/2 bottle. Stools should be watery and clear by 10:00 p.m. It is very important for these instructions to be followed exactly. If not, this may result in a cancellation of the procedure.

OR

  • Mix 1 capful of MiraLAX® in 8 ounces of clear liquid and give hourly for 4-6 doses. This will vary with the amount of stool in the colon.

8 years – 18 years

Child should be given plenty of fluids for several days before the procedure, 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 and popsicles). The same afternoon (or after school) give the child two (2) 5 mg Dulcolax tablets. The pill must be swallowed. It cannot be chewed. Solid foods and milk products are NOT allowed after lunch and continuing until after the procedure is completed. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the day of the procedure.

  • At 2:00 p.m. the day before the procedure, give one bottle (bottle is 10 oz) of chilled Magnesium Citrate. Children usually prefer the cherry flavor. This is acceptable even though it is red in color. The Magnesium Citrate must be taken within 20 minutes. At 7:00 p.m. give another (1) bottle. Stools should be watery and clear by 10:00 p.m. It is very important to follow these instructions. If not, it may result in a cancellation of the procedure.

OR

  • Mix 255 grams of MiraLAX (1/2 510 gram bottle) in 64 ounces of Gatorade. Drink 8 ounces every 30 minutes to 1 hour until it is gone.

Additional Instructions

If your child is taking prescribed medications, they can usually be continued with just a sip of water or clear liquid (i.e., apple juice, tea, etc).

The goal of the preparation is to have stools that are mostly watery and clear. If your child’s stool is still somewhat formed or brown liquid after completing the assigned cleanout instructions, you may give an additional ¼ bottle of Magnesium Citrate (if undergoing Magnesium Citrate cleanout) or an additional capful of MiraLAX (if undergoing MiraLAX cleanout).

If you have any problems with the preparation, please call the office at (585) 275-2647. After office hours, call the office at the number above to contact the Pediatric GI provider on call.

Please call the office if your child develops fever (101F or greater) or respiratory symptoms (coughing, difficulty breathing, nasal secretions, etc) within 48 hours prior to the procedure.  The number is (585) 275-2647.

Please visit the surgery tour link on the Golisano Children's Hospital website to learn about what happens when pediatric patients are admitted to the Pediatric Surgical Center.

The Pediatric Surgical Suite has a dedicated Child Life Specialist who is there to help children feel more comfortable, understand what is going to happen and provide distractions as appropriate. She is available Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m-10:30 a.m. She can give tours of the area before your child comes in for their procedure or tell you more about what they can do to help your child be as comfortable as possible. Call (585) 276-3110 to arrange a tour or discuss your child's visit to the Pediatric Surgical Center.