24 Hour Urine Specimen Collection Guidelines
Your doctor has ordered a 24 hour urine test. This means you must save all of your child’s urine for 24 hours.
You Will Need
- A clean urine collection container. Females will use a toilet hat to catch or collect the urine (Picture 1). Males can use a plastic, portable (easy-to-carry) urinal or the large urine storage container.
- A large urine storage container (Picture 2)
How to Label the Specimen
- Child’s full legal name – complete first and last names, correctly spelled
- One of the following unique identifiers:
- Date of birth or
- Patient’s ID or
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital medical record number
It can be helpful to do steps 1 and 2 before starting the collection.
- Date the test is started and date the test is finished (MM/DD/YYYY)
- Time the test is started and time the test is finished (include a.m. or p.m.)
Nationwide Children’s clinics may give you an EPIC registration label to put on the large container.
How to Collect the 24-hour Urine Specimen
- Decide on a day to do the test when your child will be at home all day.
- On the day of the test, have your child empty their bladder (urinate or pee) in the toilet right after waking up. Flush the urine down the toilet.
- The test begins now with the bladder empty. Write this date and the start time on the storage container’s label.
- For the next 24 hours, your child will need to pee into a collection container every time they go to the bathroom. Females can use a toilet hat. Males can use a plastic urinal or pee right into the large storage container. If you do not have a toilet hat or urinal at home, you may use some other clean plastic container.
- Before using the plastic container for the first time, wash it with dish soap and then rinse at least 10 times with tap water. Allow it to air dry completely.
- Do not let feces (poop) mix with the urine or else the test will need to be restarted.
- Pour the urine into the large storage container and close the lid tightly. Be very careful not to spill any urine.
- If using a collection container, rinse it with water only. Put it back by the toilet to remind you to use it the next time. Allow it to air dry completely.
- Put the large storage container in the refrigerator. The urine must be kept cool at all times. If you do not have space in the refrigerator, you can store it in a cooler on top of Add more ice as needed to keep the urine cold.
- Each time your child pees during the day and night, follow Steps 4 through 9.
- The next day (close to the same time that you started on the first day), have your child pee into the collection container one last time. Add it to the large storage container. This ends the 24-hour collection.
- Write the date and time of this last urine collection on the label.
- Attach a list of all medicines, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal remedies, your child took during the 24-hour urine collection.
- Take the urine to a Laboratory (Lab) Service Center as soon as possible, within 24 hours after ending the collection. Keep the urine cool.
- Make sure the urine does not freeze for these tests: amylase, arylsulfatase, immunoelectrophoresis, micro-albumin, pregnanetriol, protein or uric acid.
- You will need to start the test over if any of the urine spilled, you forgot to save some or it has poop in it. If you must restart the test, it is okay to use the same collection and storage containers. Pour out the urine, clean the containers well and allow them to air dry. Then follow Steps 1 through 13.
During the day:
- Any Laboratory Service Center or Nationwide Children’s Close To Home™ Center during regular business hours. For business hours and locations, please call Laboratory Services at (800) 934-6575 or visit NationwideChildrens.org/Lab..
- Nationwide Children’s Orange Laboratory located at 555 S. 18th Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205. Business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
In the evening:
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital Admitting Department on main campus. Drop-off hours are Monday through Friday, 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Please do not drop off urine specimens at the Emergency Department.
If you have any questions, ask your health care provider or call the lab at (800) 934-6575.
24-Hour Urine Specimen Collection Guidelines (PDF), Spanish (PDF), Somali (PDF)
HH-III-20 24 6/79 Revised 2/21 Copyright 1979 Nationwide Children’s Hospital