Urinary catheter: Care at home

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Urinary catheters require regular cleaning and irrigation to keep them working properly. Find out how to care for your child's catheter at home.

Key points

  • A urinary catheter is a thin tube that drains urine (pee) from the bladder to the outside of the body.
  • Parents and older children can learn how to look after a urinary catheter at home.
  • The catheter needs to be irrigated (rinsed). Irrigation is a way to help keep urine flowing freely through the catheter.
  • Never try to take a catheter out or put it back in by yourself. If your child's catheter falls out, take your child to the emergency department right away.
  • If urine does not flow from the catheter after you irrigate it, take your child to the emergency department right away.
  • Call your child's surgeon or the urology resident on call if the flow of urine slows down or stops; if you notice a change in the colour of your child's urine; or if your child has a fever or chills.
Last updated: November 10th 2009