Before you come to the hospital, explain to your child what will happen. For young children, use simple words and explain shortly before the test.
Contrast Enema Preparation
Please follow the instructions that apply to the test for which your child is scheduled. The instructions differ depending on the type of contrast enema.
Air Contrast Barium Enema Preparation
Beginning the day before the test, your child may only have clear liquids all day. No solid food should be eaten. Clear liquids include water, broth, clear juices such as apple, cranberry, and fruit punch, Kool-Aid or soft drinks.
If your child is taking medicine ordered by a doctor, give it at the scheduled times. Milk, chewing gum, hard candy or mints should not be given to your child.
If the test ordered requires a bowel preparation (if you are not sure, call radiology at 513-636-6386), your child will need to drink two doses of an over-the-counter laxative such as magnesium citrate, which can be purchased at a pharmacy or drugstore.
If your child will be coming to Cincinnati Children's as an outpatient for this test, give the magnesium citrate at 3 pm (or after school) on the day before the test, and again at bedtime the night before the test. The chart below shows the amount to give.
| Child's Age|| Dose to Give|
| Under 1 year|| No laxative|
| 1 - 2 years|| 1½ ounces|
| 3 - 5 years|| 2½ ounces|
| 6 - 8 years|| 3 ounces|
| 9 - 12 years|| 4 ounces|
| 13 - 18 years|| 5 ounces|
On the day of the test, your child may have clear liquids up until four hours before the test. Do not allow your child to eat or drink anything for four hours before the test.