How to Give Your Child a Rectal Suppository
Medicines come in a number of forms. A rectal suppository is one way to give medicine to your child if it cannot or will not be taken by mouth.
- If the suppository is too soft to insert, chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or run it under cold water before taking off the wrapper.
- Distract your child before and after giving it. You can try reading, playing music, or a back rub.
- Some parents may become anxious when they have to give a suppository. Keep in mind it is medicine that your child needs in order to feel better. Once you have given it the first time, you will see how easy it is to do.
How to Insert a Rectal Suppository
- Wash your hands.
- Remove the foil wrapper and wet the suppository with a few drops of cold water or a water-soluble lubricant, such as K-Y Jelly®. Do not use Vaseline® since it keeps the suppository from melting.
- Put on plastic gloves or you may cover your fingertip with plastic wrap, such as Saran Wrap®.
- Place your child on:
- either side with the knees bent toward the chest
- the back with legs raised as if to change a diaper
- the stomach with knees to chest or over your lap
- Hold the suppository between your thumb and index finger.
- With your other hand, open the buttock cheeks until you can see the anal opening.
- Gently insert the round end of the suppository into the anal opening using the tip of your index finger. You will know if you have put the suppository in far enough if it does not come right back out.
- Gently hold the buttock cheeks closed to keep your child from pushing out the suppository. Do this for about 10 minutes.
- Body heat causes the suppository to melt and begin to take effect.
If you have questions about giving a suppository to your child, please call your health care provider.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 01/11/2011
Copyright © 01/11/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5595
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