Stoma Care for Children and Their Families

An ostomy is an opening in the body, created by surgery, for the discharge of body waste. The ostomy enables urine or stool to be "re-routed" to exit through a stoma that protrudes through the opening in the abdominal wall.

An ostomy may be part of the treatment for conditions such as Hirschsprung's disease, a birth defect involving the lack of nerves that control muscle contractions in the large intestine, or an imperforate anus, a birth defect in which the rectum is abnormal.

For most families, learning that a child needs an ostomy can be very frightening. Parents and children need training on the use of an ostomy pouch and the supplies necesary for good stoma care.

Instructional Videos

Videos, developed by pediatric surgery nurses at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, explain the different types of ostomies and stomas and their location on the abdomen. Some ostomies are permanent and others temporary.

The videos, posted on YouTube, demonstrate how to care for a stoma, including how to empty, remove and apply a pouch.

  • Caring for Your Child's Stoma
    This video offers an introduction and overview of stoma management in children with a demonstration of stoma pouch application on a manikin.
  • Ostomy Pouching for Infants
    Learn how a mother feels about caring for her infant's colostomy and watch while she shows viewers how to apply, empty and remove a pouch.
  • Ostomy Pouching for Children
    Listen to a mother and her school-age daughter explain what it means to live with an ileostomy. Watch this video for tips when applying, emptying and removing a pouch.
  • Ostomy Pouching for Teens
    Learn how this teen feels about having an ileostomy and watch while she shows viewers how to apply, empty and remove a pouch.


Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.