Clean Catch Urine Collection Guidelines for Males and Females

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A clean catch urine specimen is collected to find out what kinds of bacteria (germs), if any, are in your child’s urine. Before your child urinates, you must clean around the urinary opening carefully. Careful cleaning will help prevent germs on the outside of your child’s body from getting into the urine specimen.

For your child to get the correct medical treatment, the test must show only the germs that are in the urine.

You Will Need

  • Clean Catch Urine Collection Kit or
  • Sterile container with locking lid and soap towelette package (containing 3 towelettes)

How to Label the Specimen

  1. Child’s full legal name – complete first and last names, correctly spelled
  2. One of the following unique identifiers:
    • Date of birth or
    • Patient’s ID or
    • Nationwide Children's medical record number
  3. Date of sample collection (MM/DD/YYYY)
  4. Time of sample collection (please include a.m. or p.m.)

Nationwide Children's Clinics: Clinicians can use an EPIC registration label before giving the container(s) to the patient.

How to Collect a Urine Specimen from Males

  1. Wash your hands. Put on the gloves if desired.
  2. Use the soap towelettes from the collection packet.
  3. Clean the head of your child’s penis with the towelette. Wash with circular strokes. (If your child is uncircumcised, pull back the foreskin and clean thoroughly.) Throw away the towelette.
  4. Repeat step 3 with all 3 towelettes.
  5. Get the urine collection container. (Do not touch the inside or the lid of the bottle.)
  6. Have your child start urinating into the toilet. Then hold the container under the stream of urine and collect at least 1 ounce of urine (30 mL). (See the lines marked on the side of the container.) Remove the cup from the stream of urine and allow your child to finish urinating into the toilet. (If your child  is uncircumcised, pull the foreskin over the penis head after collecting the urine.)
  7. Put the cap on the container. Be sure the cap is tightly closed to prevent leaks.You will hear a “click” when the lid is properly screwed on the container. Wash the outside of the container. If wearing rubber gloves, remove the gloves and wash your hands well.

How to Collect a Urine Specimen from Females

  1. Wash your hands. Put on the exam gloves if desired. Have your child remove her underwear, and sit on the toilet.
  2. Use the soap towelettes from the collection packet.
  3. Gently separate the folds over the urinary opening.
  4. With the first towelette, wipe the right side of the urinary opening. Be sure to wipe front to back. Throw away the towelette.
  5. With the second towelette, wipe the left side of the urinary opening. Be sure to wipe from front to back. Throw away the towelette.
  6. With the third towelette, wipe the center area of the urinary opening. Be sure to wipe from front to back. Throw away the towelette.
  7. Get the urine collection container. (Do not touch the inside or the lid of the container.)
  8. Have your child start urinating into the toilet. Then hold the container under the stream of urine and collect at least 1 ounce of urine (30 mL). (See the lines marked on the side of the container.) Remove the cup from the stream of urine and let your child finish urinating into the toilet.
  9. Put the cap on the container. Be sure the cap is tightly closed to prevent leaks. You will hear a “click” when the lid is properly screwed on the container.Wash the outside of the container. If wearing rubber gloves remove them and wash your hands well.

After Collecting the Specimen

  1. Label the container with your child’s full legal name, date of birth or patient number or medical record number, and the date and time the urine was collected. Please note, the specimen will be rejected if 2 patient identifiers are not on the container label.
  2. Place the container of urine in a re-sealable plastic bag.
  3. Give the container to the nurse or, if the collection is done at home, bring the specimen to a Laboratory Service Center within 30 minutes after collection (see Drop-Off Options below). If you cannot bring the specimen within 30 minutes, keep it on ice or in the refrigerator, but do NOT freeze. The urine specimen must be kept cold until it is delivered to the laboratory.
  4. Place the urine container in a cooler with ice when you bring it to the hospital or Laboratory Service Center. Do not pack ice around the container as it may freeze. Please bring your child with you when you bring the urine specimen to the laboratory. You may be asked to collect a fresh specimen.
  5. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your child’s doctor or nurse.

Drop-off Options

  • Any Laboratory Service Center or Nationwide Children’s Close To HomeCenter 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 in the lower level 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.
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital Admitting Department on main campus. Drop-off hours at this location are Monday through Friday, 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Please do not drop off stool specimens at the Emergency Department.

For directions to the nearest Laboratory Service Center, please call Laboratory Services at (800) 934-6575 or visit NationwideChildrens.org/Lab.

Clean Catch Urine Collection - Guidelines for Males and Females (PDF)

HH-III-140 11/16, Revised 10/19 | Copyright 2016, Nationwide Children’s Hospital