Why collect a urine sample?

It is not possible to be certain whether a child has had a urine infection without testing a sample. It can be difficult to collect a sample from very small children, but we have tried to make it as easy as possible.

When should you collect a urine sample?

It is best to collect the sample just after you have bathed your child, but don't use any cream or talc. Otherwise, just wash and dry the nappy area first.

What is the easiest way in an older child?

If your child is co-operative and toilet trained, it is best to collect urine directly into a sterile bottle, which you can get from the surgery. The best way is for your child to pass urine into the toilet, and for you to hold the open bottle so you can catch the middle part of the stream. This is obviously easiest for boys.

What about collecting urine from a potty-trained child?

This is surprisingly simple. All you need to do is to wash up your child's potty in a bowl of hot water and ordinary washing-up liquid, and it is suitable to collect urine in! Just collect the next wee they pass, and pour it carefully into a sterile bottle.

And what about collecting urine from a small baby?

There are two ways of doing this. The first is to sit ready with a sterile bottle while your baby has its nappy off, and then try to catch the urine from the stream when they next do a wee. The second is to use a urine collection pad. This is a very simple method that works well.

Collecting urine with a collection pad

  1. Wash your child's bottom using soap and water, and dry. Do not put any cream or talc on.
  2. Place the pad inside a disposable nappy which has been put on inside out (with the plastic side next to the skin). Position the pad carefully over the front of your baby's bottom.
  3. Check every 10 minutes, until the pad is wet, and then take it out (if it is soiled, start again!).
  4. Lay the pad down, wet side up.
  5. Wash your hands.
  6. Take a 5ml syringe, and place its tip on the wet pad. Gently pull the plunger up. You will see urine slowly appear in the syringe.
  7. Hold the tip of the syringe over the open sterile bottle. Press the plunger down to squirt the urine out, and into the bottle. If necessary, you can repeat stages 6 and 7 several times to get enough urine.
  8. Put the cap on the bottle.