Urine samples are often required for testing. Urine tests may be done for a number of reasons. In particular, they are a valuable, non invasive tool to confirm if your child has a urinary tract infection (UTI). Particularly as children do no tell you that they have UTI symptoms.
My name is Allison and I joined the WiSE Specialist Emergency team in December 2017. I adore working with children, this has only intensified since having two boys of my own.
I have been working as an Emergency Nurse since 1999 as well as a Nurse Practitioner between 2005 and 2016 based in London.
Despite fever being a ‘natural response’ to infection, seeing our little ones miserable with high temperatures can be both alarming and distressing. Fever accounts for a huge proportion approx. 50-60% of attendances to emergency health care settings. It is our job to attempt to find a ‘source’ of infection – this can include obtaining a urine specimen. In days gone by, we used a urine bag, inside nappies or underwear, to catch urine – but this is not recommended practice anymore
Waiting for urine specimen in a hot and miserable baby can be a time-consuming process and lead to both parental and child distress. I have included some of my own and my nursing colleagues top tips for obtaining a clean catch urine specimen in emergency, or at home:
“What goes in must come out – your baby / toddlers / child’s fluid requirements increase when they have a fever. Once they are settled begin to give them oral fluids by syringe every 4-5mins”
Get cosy – have your child’s favourite show/ books and be in a comfy position;
Clean the perineal area with a cool, wet cloth”
“Get the sample first thing in the morning when they wake up.
Give plenty of fluids 30 mins before trying to get sample
Play in the bathroom with some toys and nappy off – less messy to clean up on tiled floor!
The old spoon on belly trick isn’t my favourite….some kids get quite upset with that one!
Keep in mind that it does take time and persistence – obtaining a clean catch urine result can tell us a lot about your child’s current health.
It is very important that the urine is obtained from your child in a sterile (clean) way so that the sample is not contaminated with bacteria (germs) from the skin.
Clean catch: try to limit time the jar is open to the air; don’t let rim of jar touch child’s skin
Mid stream: if your child usually wears a nappy clean the groin area with a warm washer prior to obtaining sample.”
“Put your child in a warm, shallow bath, dipping their feet in the water. Keep the tap water running. Don’t turn away, as that’s when it happens!”
“Tap their bladder and don’t lose sight”