Colonoscopy Prep Instructions

For your child’s safety, it is very important that you follow these instructions exactly. If you do not follow these instructions, your child’s procedure may be cancelled.

One-day prep instructions for colonoscopy

On the day before the procedure your child will follow a liquid diet. The following is a list of items that are allowed:

  • Water
  • Jell-O®
  • Juice drinks without pulp
  • Soda
  • Water ice
  • Popsicles
  • Broth
  • Sports drinks
  • Pedialyte®
  • Breast milk

No chewing gum or candy after 11 p.m. the night before the procedure.

Your child may drink only clear liquids from 11 p.m. until three hours before his or her arrival time on the day of the procedure (i.e. apple juice, water and ginger ale).

* Babies under 12 months old may have breast milk until three hours before arrival at CHOP. If your child is older than 12 months old, please don't feed him or her breast milk after 11 p.m. the night before the procedure.

Please limit the amount of red fluids on the day prior to the procedure to no more than one to two servings. Please do not use a red drink to mix the Miralax® powder with.

Laxative administration

In addition to a restricted diet your child will need to take laxatives in preparation for the colonoscopy. The doses of laxatives are based on your child’s weight so you will need to speak to a prep nurse to get the amounts that you should administer to your child.

An email or fax with the prep instructions can be sent to you, so you can have a written copy of the prep instructions. You can also download instructions for weight-based doses of Miralax prep.

Miralax preparation is the most commonly used, but the preparation may be modified depending on your child’s medical history.

Your child should not take longer than four hours to drink the total volume of Miralax and Gatorade®. (Please do not use the Gatorade “Recovery” brand, this contains protein whey, which should be avoided during prep.)

  • Miralax has other generic names such as: Clearlax and Glycolax.
  • Your child may stop drinking before the entire amount is ingested if stools are clear.
  • If stools are not clear and your child has finished taking the Miralax, please call 215-590-3326 between the hours of 7 a.m.-7 p.m. to speak with a nurse.
    Afterhours, please call 215-590-1000 and ask for the GI fellow on call. 


Colonoscopies are available at the following locations: CHOP’s Main Campus; and CHOP Care Network locations in Voorhees, NJ; Bucks County, PA; and Exton, PA