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 (pee). The test must be done properly for your child to get the right medical treatment. To help prevent germs on the outside of your child’s body from getting into the urine specimen, follow the steps below.

You Will Need

  • Clean Catch Urine Collection Kit or
  • A packet that has a sterile container (Picture 1) with locking lid and 3 soap towelettes

How to Label the SpecimenThe urine will be collected in a sterile container with a locking lid.

  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
  • NCH medical record number

It can be helpful to do steps 1 and 2 before starting the collection.

  1. Date of sample collection (MM/DD/YYYY) – write this AFTER the collection
  2. Time of sample collection (include a.m. or p.m.) – write this AFTER the collection

NCH Clinics may give you an EPIC registration label when giving you the container.

How to Collect a Urine Specimen From Males

  1. Wash your hands and set up the supplies within reach. Take the cap off the container and put it down with the inside facing up. Only touch parts on the outside of the cap and container. Put on disposable exam gloves, if desired.
  2. Open all 3 soap towelettes and place on a clean surface. Take one to start to clean your child’s penis.
  3. Clean the head (top) of the penis with the towelette. Use circular strokes. (If your child is uncircumcised, pull back the foreskin and clean thoroughly.) Throw away the towelette.
  4. Repeat Step 3 two more times using a new towelette each time.
  5. Pick up the urine collection container. Do not touch the inside of it.
  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.) Take the cup away 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. Get the cap, touching only its sides, and put it 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. Wipe the outside of the container dry.
  8. If wearing gloves, remove them. Wash your hands well.

How to Collect a Urine Specimen From Females

  1. Wash your hands and set up the supplies within reach. Take the cap off the container and put it down with the inside facing up. Only touch parts on the outside of the cap and container. Put on disposable exam gloves, if desired.
  2. Have your child take their underwear off and sit on the toilet.
  3. Open all 3 towelettes and place on a clean surface.
  4. Gently separate the 2 folds of skin over the urinary opening.
  5. With the first towelette, wipe the right side of the urinary opening. Be sure to wipe from front to back. Throw away the towelette.
  6. With the second towelette, wipe the left side of the urinary opening. Be sure to wipe from front to back. Throw away the towelette.
  7. With the third towelette, wipe the center area of the urinary opening. Be sure to wipe from front to back. Throw away the towelette.
  8. Pick up the urine container. Do not touch the inside of it.
  9. 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.) Take the cup away from the stream of urine and let your child finish urinating into the toilet.
  10. Get the cap, touching only its sides, and put it 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. Wipe the outside of the container.
  11. If wearing gloves remove them. Wash your hands well.

After Collecting the Specimen

  1. Check the label to be sure that it has your child’s full legal name, date of birth, patient number or medical record number. Then, write the date and the time of the collection and stick the label on the container. Please note, the specimen will not be tested if the patient’s name and at least one other patient identifier is not on the label.
  2. Place the container of urine in a resealable plastic bag.
  3. Give the container to a health care provider or, if collected at home, bring the specimen to a Laboratory Service Center within 30 minutes after collection. 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 brought to the laboratory.
  4. Place the urine container in a cooler on top of ice when you bring it to the hospital or laboratory. Do not pack ice around the container as it may freeze.
  5. Please bring your child with you when you take the urine specimen to the laboratory. We may ask them to give us a fresh specimen.

Drop-Off Options

During the day:

  • 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 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. For questions, call Laboratory Services at (800) 934-6575 or your health care provider.

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

HH-III-140 11/16, Revised 2/21 | Copyright 2016, Nationwide Children’s Hospital