Stool Collection / Culture

Lab testing is done on stool to detect infections. The stool culture test looks for disease causing bacteria. This helps the doctor to treat your child's illness.

Stool collection can be messy.  Ensure that you and your child wash your hands afterwards.

Potty-Trained Child

You may ask the clinic or the doctor’s office for supplies to collect stool. This would include a “hat” to place on the toilet rim and a container.

Ask your child to urinate in the toilet first, then, lift the toilet seat and place the hat shaped container over the rim of the toilet. Lower the toilet seat.  Have your child sit and try to defecate into the hat container. The toilet paper should be tossed in the toilet bowl, not the container.

Child in Diapers

Collecting stool from a child in diapers can be difficult. Liquid stool can seep into the diaper before it can be collected. Here are a couple of tips to help you obtain the stool:

  • Line diaper with plastic wrap or turn diaper “inside out” so that the plastic side is next to the skin.
  • Check diaper often to see if child has stooled.

If you were given an orange top container, use the spoon attached to the lid to scoop the stool into the container. You may also use a clean plastic spoon. Add enough stool until the liquid and stool reaches the red fill line. Replace the lid and tighten. Keep at room temperature. Do not refrigerate. Return to the lab within 48 hours after collection.

If you were given a clear specimen container, add about a quarter size amount of stool to the container. You may use a clean plastic spoon or a tongue blade to scoop the stool. If the stool is liquid, add 20-30 mls. Keep at room temperature. Do not refrigerate. Return to the lab within two hours after collection.

Last Updated 08/2013