A urine sample is usually needed to determine if a person has a urinary tract infection or kidney disease. Urinary tract and bladder infections are common in children, so collecting a urine sample and checking for bacteria is important. The “clean-catch” method (taking urine in between urine outputs) works best with older children, who can understand that they have to pee in a cup. For infants who cannot understand it or cannot communicate with it, the “specimen bag” method should be used. Getting an uncontaminated urine sample from a little girl is more difficult because of her anatomy-you have to be more diligent in the process of cleaning and collecting urine. A contaminated urine sample yields a false positive test which often results in unnecessary antibiotics or more invasive medical testing.
Method 1 of 2: Using the Clean-Catch Method
Step 1. Prepare your equipment
If your daughter is old enough to pee while sitting on the toilet and can understand instructions, try the clean-catch method to collect a urine sample. You will need a sterile specimen cup to collect urine, some antibacterial wet wipes, a roll of paper tissue and a pair of latex or vinyl gloves that are commonly used for medical purposes.
- Your doctor will most likely provide you with a specimen cup and medical gloves so you can collect a urine sample at home. In addition, the doctor may also provide special wipes for this purpose.
- Wet wipes are used to thoroughly clean your daughter's genital area to prevent bacteria that might be on her skin from getting into the urine sample.
- Paper towels are very practical for wiping out dripping/spilled urine and for drying hands after washing.
Step 2. Prepare your daughter
Explain to your daughter what action she should take and why, then ask her to let you know if she needs to pee. As soon as she feels the urge to pee, immediately remove her clothes from the waist down, including her underwear so that they don't get in the way of the sample collection process. Keep her in her socks and top to keep her warm as long as the top doesn't hinder the process of cleaning her vagina or collecting urine samples. Sit your daughter on the toilet with her legs spread apart and get ready to clean her.
- If possible, before starting the urine sample collection process, bathe your daughter first and wash her genital area with soap and water. It's best not to rely entirely on wet wipes to clean them.
- To trigger your daughter to pee, ask her to drink plenty of water or milk after bathing.
- If you're not in a hurry to get a sample, ask your daughter to let her know if she feels a light urge to pee, not when the urge becomes unbearable.
Step 3. Wash your hands thoroughly
Once you have undressed your daughter and are in the toilet, wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap so you don't transfer bacteria from your hands to your daughter. Dry your hands thoroughly with paper towels while using them to unwrap the wet tissue. After that throw the used tissue in the trash.
- Make sure you lather between your fingers, the area under your nails and all the way to your wrists for at least 20 seconds.
- In addition to soap and water, consider cleaning your hands with an alcohol-based hand gel.
- Don't touch anything, especially your mouth or face after you've applied the cleansing gel and it will clean your daughter.
Step 4. Clean your daughter's genital area
Once your daughter is sitting on the toilet with her legs spread apart, ask her to lean back so you can reach the vaginal area more easily. Using the index and middle finger of one hand, carefully separate the labia (the fold of skin around where urine is excreted) carefully. With the other hand, take a wet tissue and clean the meatus (urinary hole) area, using a top-down motion, then discard the used tissue. Place the meatus just above the vaginal opening.
- Take another antibacterial wet wipe to clean the inside of the skin fold on one side of the meatus, then a third wipe to clean the skin fold on the other side.
- Use only one motion, from top to bottom (or toward the anus), with a damp tissue before throwing it away. Do not clean it in a circular motion.
- Do not wipe from the bottom up because there is a chance that you will carry bacteria from the anus to the vaginal area.
Step 5. Put on gloves and open the lid of the holding cup
After carefully cleaning your daughter's genital area and discarding any used antibacterial wet wipes, wash and dry your hands again and put on medical gloves. The gloves will prevent the transfer of bacteria to your daughter and will protect her hands from getting urine. Urine is harmless to hands, but some parents find it dirty or don't want it to be a hassle. Once the gloves are on, open the lid of the sterilized plastic container and hold it near your daughter's urethra.
- When opening the collection cup, do not contaminate it by touching the inside of the lid or container with your fingers, even if you think your fingers are clean.
- Place the cup upside down on paper towels while you wait for the urine sample to be collected.
- If your doctor doesn't give you a sterile collection cup, boil a small glass jar with a lid for about 10 minutes. Place the jars and lids in a clean place and let them dry before using them.
Step 6. Collect the urine sample
While holding your daughter's labia from sticking together with one hand and holding the specimen cup in the other near the urethra, tell her to urinate immediately. After she has passed a small amount of urine, position the cup just below the urine stream and be careful not to hit the cup on your daughter. Remove the cup when it's about full (don't spill urine) and allow your daughter to empty her bladder as usual if she wants.
- If your daughter is having trouble starting to pee, try opening the faucet to lure her in.
- Collecting urine midstream (after a second or two) is highly recommended because the initial urine stream (first 30-60 ml) helps flush out impurities such as dead cells or protein.
- Urine cannot be stored for long at room temperature. So, put it in the fridge after collecting it.
Step 7. Replace the cup lid and label it
Once you have collected the urine sample, place the cup on a paper towel and twist or press the cup cap and secure it without touching the inside of the lid. Once the lid is securely in place, remove the gloves and wash the outside of the cup and your hands again. Make sure you dry it with a clean paper towel. After the collection cup is dry, write the date, time and your daughter's name on the cup with a marker.
- If you collect urine from your daughter at the doctor's office, simply give the sample to the nurse or doctor's assistant.
- If you're at home and can't get to the doctor's office right away, refrigerate the sample until you have time to get there. Don't wait more than 24 hours. If it is more than 24 hours, the bacteria in the sample will multiply.
Method 2 of 2: Using the Specimen Bag Method
Step 1. Prepare all your equipment
If your baby girl isn't old enough to pee while sitting on the toilet and can't understand your instructions, we recommend that you try the specimen bag method for collecting a urine sample. You will need a special bag for collecting urine and a sterile specimen cup (both provided by your doctor), as well as some antibacterial wet wipes or special doctor-provided wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer.
- A special collection bag is a plastic bag with a sticky tape on one end, which is made to fit over the baby's genital area, but under the diaper.
- Urinary infections are very difficult to diagnose using a urine sample collected in a specimen bag because of the high risk of contamination. However, the urine can give the doctor an overview of your child's genitourinary health.
Step 2. Prepare your baby girl
The collection bag is designed to fit snugly over your daughter's labia so you have to remove her clothes and diaper to reach them. She can still wear her socks and tops to stay warm as long as the tops don't interfere with the vaginal cleaning process and attach the collection bag. Lay him on the changing table, remove his diaper, and throw it in the trash. Clean your daughter as best you can if she wets the bed.
- Do not use baby powder after cleaning, as the powder can contaminate the urine sample.
- In the morning, before trying to collect urine, give your daughter a bath and wash her genital area thoroughly with soap and water.
- After bathing, it is best not to overfeed him before the sample collection process is carried out so that he does not defecate in the diaper and increases the possibility of bacterial contamination.
- Giving your baby plenty of water after bathing will make him urinate more quickly.
Step 3. Wash your hands with a cleansing gel
After removing your daughter's clothes and laying her on the changing table, evenly coat your hands with an alcohol-based cleansing gel and let them dry on their own while watching your baby to make sure he doesn't roll off the table. After laying him on the changing table, it's too risky to have to run to the bathroom and wash your hands with warm water and soap, so gel cleansers are the best option.
- Make sure you clean the area under the nails up to the top of the wrist with a cleansing gel.
- Repeat the cleansing process using the cleansing gel to make sure your hands are completely clean, but don't use it to clean your baby's genital area. Baby's skin can be irritated so just use antibacterial wet wipes for that purpose.
Step 4. Clean the baby's genital area
After you've sterilized your hands, it's now your turn to thoroughly clean your daughter's labia and the area around her urethral opening (meatus). The meatus is located just above the vaginal opening. Using the index and middle fingers of one hand, carefully separate the lips of the labia. With the other hand, take an antibacterial wet tissue and clean the meatus area using one top-down motion. Use two more wet wipes and use them to clean the inside of the folds of skin on the labia near the urethra-first clean one side and then the other.
- You can use sterile vinyl or latex gloves at this stage, although that's not crucial.
- When cleaning, use only one motion, from top to bottom (from vagina to anus), with a tissue before throwing it away. Do not clean in a circular motion.
- Wiping in a motion that starts from the anus may carry bacteria into the baby's vaginal area.
Step 5. Place the holding bag on the baby
Open the small plastic bag on the catch and attach the bag to your daughter. The pouch is designed to be placed over the two folds of skin on the labia on each side of the vagina. Make sure the sticky tape adheres to the surrounding skin, then put a new diaper on the baby and let him crawl or walk around the house.
- To keep things from getting messy, always put on clean diapers after you put in the catch bag so there are no leaks.
- Have an hourly checkup to see if your daughter has urinated. You'll need to take the diaper off and put it back on if she hasn't peed.
- An active baby can cause the pouch to shift and fall off. So there's a good chance you'll have to try it a few times with a few holding bags to collect samples.
Step 6. Pour the contents of the bag into a sterile collection cup
After your daughter has urinated, wash your hands again and carefully remove the small bag without spilling too much urine sample. You may need to wear gloves at this stage as some of the urine may spill onto your hands. Transfer urine from the bag to a sterile collection cup and throw the bag in the trash. You just fill the cup about to full. Put the lid on the cup, then tighten it properly. After that, wipe off any urine that may have stuck to the outside of the cup and allow the cup to dry on its own. Once dry, write the date, time and your daughter's name on the cup with a marker and keep the cup in the refrigerator until you go to see the doctor.
- Before removing the collection bag, it's a good idea to open the lid of the sterile collection cup and place it upside down on a clean paper towel.
- Do not touch the inside of the sterile cup or lid when removing urine from the collection bag.
- If you're having trouble collecting a urine sample from your child using the clean-catch method, ask your doctor if you can use a clean toilet hat to help collect the specimen. To get an accurate sample, you can put the cup in the toilet hat and have your child pee into the cup while you don't have to hold it.
- If you collect a urine sample at home, store the sample in the refrigerator or in a cool place until you can take it to the laboratory. Urine can only last for about 24 hours in the refrigerator before it begins to decompose and become contaminated so that it can no longer be used for examination.
- There is no risk of harm to the baby if you collect the urine sample by the methods mentioned above. There may be a mild skin rash or irritation or stinging from the adhesive on the collection bag, but this is rare.
- Another way to collect a baby's urine sample that is more uncomfortable and somewhat invasive is to insert a catheter (a small tube) down the urethra until it reaches the bladder. This method of collecting urine can only be performed by a nurse or doctor or someone trained in it.
- With the catheter method there is very little chance of contamination, but the process can be uncomfortable for the baby and, although rare, can cause irritation or injury. However, this may be necessary if you suspect a bladder or kidney infection in your child or baby.