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Children and Transanal Irrigation

Children and TAI

Achieving continence is an important milestone in a child’s life. It helps the child to socialise independently and participate in daily activities. Faecal incontinence impacts self-esteem, developing confidence and social interactions. This is something that affects the whole family. 

Constipation among younger children is common and, in most cases, laxatives and toilet training will help. However, for some children with bowel problems, using TAI could be an option to reduce or eliminate bowel accidents.


There are no precise recommendations for when it is best to introduce TAI to children. Most children are toilet trained by the age of three and it is at this age that a bowel problem will become more apparent. TAI should ideally be introduced when the child is able to cooperate and understand the process.

Diagnoses where TAI can be a treatment option

  • Hirschsprung’s disease
  • Anorectal malformation
  • Spina bifida
  • Functional constipation

Time for play

Once the child has learned the procedure and their body has adapted to it, the irrigation usually takes between 15 and 60 minutes. How often TAI is performed for best results is highly individual. But one thing is for sure, it will allow more time for play.