FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What size urinary catheters are most commonly used for pediatric patients?
To ensure an adequate urine flow and a smooth insertion process, proper catheter sizing is imperative. If the catheter width is too large, it can cause urethral friction leading to severe pain and infection. A small catheter can lead to slow urine flow or leakage. Your healthcare provider will recommend a pediatric catheter size to start out with.
Traditionally, pediatric intermittent catheters come in a range of sizes for both young children and adolescents. Pediatric catheter widths typically begin at size FR5 and go up to size FR12. Infants and babies usually fall in the 5 to 6 range while children and adolescents use 8 to 12 French. Pediatric catheter lengths range from 8” to 10”.
How do you catheterize a boy? A girl?
Pediatric urethral catheterization varies for boys and girls. Before starting the catheterization process, be sure to thoroughly disinfect your hands. Open up your catheter and put it aside on a sterile surface. With one hand, hold the penis upright and gently pull back the foreskin. With the other hand, slowly insert the catheter until you see urine flowing through. You may push it back by an additional half an inch, but no more than that.
For girls, start the same way by placing your catheter on a sterile surface. With two fingers, spread the labia apart, and with the other hand, gently push the catheter in about two or three inches until urine begins to move through. At no point should any children – boys or girls – feel pain. Inserting catheters for children can be uncomfortable but it should never be painful. If it’s causing pain, stop and consult your doctor. You may require the addition of a lubricant, a smaller catheter size, or a different insertion tip style.
Can a female adult use a pediatric catheter?
Urinary catheters for children are designed for a child’s smaller anatomy. Unlike males, females do not need very long catheters. However, a pediatric catheter is likely far too narrow and will lead to drainage issues. If the flow is restricted by a catheter that is too narrow, urine will not drain completely and may cause bladder injury or infection. To be sure you do not cause any harm while using a catheter, always use the catheter that is recommended for your gender and your age.
Do intermittent catheters hurt baby boys or girls?
Pediatric intermittent catheters are not very comfortable but they shouldn’t cause serious pain. Infants will very likely cry but this doesn’t always mean they are experiencing pain. Infants cry when they are cold, hungry, or uncomfortable in any way. Once the catheter is fully inserted, it shouldn’t cause any pain or discomfort anymore. To be sure you do not harm your infant, always insert catheters slowly and gently. Do not ever force if you feel any resistance and ensure you have the correct size for your infant’s anatomy before you begin. The help of a medical professional is highly recommended with young children.
Why would a child need to be catheterized?
If a child suffers from urinary incontinence or an excessive build-up of urine, either on a temporary or long-term basis, they may need pediatric urethral catheterization. Catheterization is intended to relieve the bladder when the natural bodily function cannot be performed. If the bladder is not emptied regularly, it can cause pain and even injury to the bladder. An infection may also occur which is why it is important to use a pediatric catheter when the body is unable to perform drainage on its own. Certain chronic medical conditions and congenital diseases may cause urinary issues resulting in the need for daily catheterization. Children may also need catheterization if they are having surgery or recovering from one.
What type of intermittent catheter is best for a child?
There are different types of pediatric intermittent catheters. What really matters is the size of the catheter so it fits correctly. Featuring a straight, yet flexible design, the easy to insert Pediatric Self-Cath Straight Tip Catheter series by Coloplast is commonly used in both boys and girls. Hydrophilic pediatric catheters are also popular as they come ready-to-use in a bag packaged with sterile water. When the water mixes with the silicone coating, the catheter becomes very slick and slides into the urethra with ease, minimizing discomfort and preventing injury.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER
The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.