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Collecting urine cultures from infant boys


At times the doctor may need to check your child’s urine for bacteria (germs that can cause infection). To perform this test, a sample of your child’s urine must be collected. Sometimes a nurse or nursing care assistant will collect the sample. Other times you might be asked to gather the sample. You will be taught how to do this, and the information below can help you remember all the steps.

Clean before collecting

Bacteria are always present in the genital area. These bacteria can contaminate (dirty) a urine sample, which can lead to false test results. For this reason, it is very important to clean this area well before collecting a urine sample. The following steps will help you collect a clean urine sample.

Supplies needed

  • Computer printed labels that have the patient’s name and hospital ID number
  • A bottle of hexachlorophene 3% (known as pHisoHex®, a sudsing antibacterial skin cleanser)
  • 9 sterile gauze sponges (4x4)
  • Sterile water
  • Sterile collection cup
  • Infant collection bag
  • Plastic ziplock bag
  • Non-sterile gloves


Urine collection from infant boy

How to collect urine samples from an infant boy

  1. In words your child might understand, tell him what you are going to do (clean his “private area” and collect a sample).
  2. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap (any soap that says deodorant or antimicrobial). Dry hands well. See “Do you know… Clean hands” for details.
  3. Put on the non-sterile gloves.
  4. Lay the infant on his back, and spread his legs. Give him as much privacy as needed.
  5. Clean the entire genital area using sterile 4x4 gauze sponges dipped in pHisoHex®. Start by cleaning thescrotum (skin pouch that holds the testes). Then pull back your infant’s foreskin (if he has one) so you can clean the surface of the penis well. Clean the anus last, wiping away from the scrotum. Clean the entire area at least 4 times using a new sponge each time.
  6. Using new gauze sponges and sterile water, wash off the pHisoHex®.
  7. Dry the area with one (1) gauze sponge. Make sure the skin surface is dry before you begin to apply the collection bag.
  8. Remove the bottom half of the paper covering the sticky patch that will hold the infant collection bag in place. It is easier to leave the top half of the paper on until the bottom part of the patch has been applied to the skin. (If you have an active boy, it may be easier to leave all the paper backing in place until you have fit the bag over the genitals.
  9. When applying the sticky patch, be sure to start at the narrow bridge of skin between the anus and the base of the scrotum. Work outward and up from this point.
  10. Press the sticky patch firmly against the skin. Try to avoid having wrinkles in the skin against the patch.
  11. When the bottom part is in place, remove the paper backing from the top part of the sticky patch. Work upward to finish placing the patch. Secure it around the entire genital area.
  12. Remove the gloves. Wash and dry your hands.
  13. Now, you can put a diaper on your child, but remember to check the infant collection bag every 15 minutes to see if your child has urinated. Give him plenty to drink to help produce a sample.
  14. If your infant has not urinated within 2 hours, discard the bag. Re-cleanse the area, and apply a new collection bag.
  15. As soon as your child urinates in the bag, put on your non-sterile gloves. Gently remove the bag from your child’s body. Pour the urine into the sterile collection cup. (Do not let the outer part of the bag touch the urine, and do not touch the inside of the sterile cup.)
  16. Put the top on the collection cup. Stick the computer label to the cup. Place the cup in the plastic ziplock bag.
  17. Remove your gloves. Wash and dry your hands.
  18. Give the urine sample to your child’s nurse or nursing care assistant as soon as you can. The sample must be sent to the lab within 30 minutes of being collected, or it will have to be thrown out and a new sample collected.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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