Stool Collection: Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Ovum and Parasitic Infection

Lab testing is done on stool to detect bacterial, parasitic and viral infections.

Stool can also be tested for blood. This enables the doctor to appropriately treat your child's illness. This test looks for eggs (ova) and parasites in the stool.

For the potty-trained child

Collect stool in a clean container. A plastic bowl is acceptable if it has been thoroughly washed. The child should have a bowel movement in the container without urinating in the stool.

Child in diapers

Line the diaper with plastic wrap to make stool collection easier. Plastic baggies with adhesive tape are available from the lab. To use these, remove the paper backing and place baggie around anal opening. Peel off after bowel movement. A diaper may be used "inside out" with the plastic side next to the skin. Please keep all plastic wraps out of the child's reach.

  • After the bowel movement, place the stool in the pink and blue Para-Pak collection bottles. (You may use a plastic spoon or the stick that comes with the collection kit.)
  • Add enough stool to bring the liquid inside the bottles to the red line. Do not overfill.
  • The liquid in the bottles preserves the stool for 5-7 days. Frequently, the doctor orders three tests. If your doctor orders three tests, you will have three different Para-Pak collection bottle kits.

    You must take the stool samples from three different bowel movements. Leave collection kits at room temperature. You can wait and deliver all specimens at one time.
  • Try to keep urine out of the stool your are collecting for testing.
  • If you are having trouble collecting the stool for testing, call the doctor's office.

Last Updated 10/2012