clean-catch urine specimen

Last reviewed 08/2022

  • this is used for collecting urine samples from young children - this is collected by having the sterile container with lid removed easily available, so that the sample can be easily collected if the child voids
  • obviously more easy to undertake this method of urine with boys than girls
  • a clean catch urine sample is the recommended method for urine collection. If a clean catch urine sample is unobtainable:
    • other non-invasive methods such as urine collection pads should be used. It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions when using urine collection pads. Cotton wool balls, gauze and sanitary towels should not be used to collect urine in infants and children
    • when it is not possible or practical to collect urine by non-invasive methods, catheter samples or suprapubic aspiration (SPA) should be used
    • before SPA is attempted, ultrasound guidance should be used to demonstrate the presence of urine in the bladder
    • in an infant or child with a high risk of serious illness it is highly preferable that a urine sample is obtained; however, treatment should not be delayed if a urine sample is unobtainable


  1. NICE (August 2007).Urinary tract infection in children: diagnosis, treatment and long-term management .