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What Is a Urine Test?

Testing a urine sample can help doctors find out what's going on when someone has an infection or other problem in kidneys, bladder, or other parts of the urinary tract.

To help your child get ready for a urine test, find out if they need to avoid any specific foods or activity before the test, or should stop taking any medicines.

Urine tests are painless. To help ease any fears, explain in simple terms how the test is done and why it's needed. Make sure your child understands that the urinary opening (urethra) must be cleaned as instructed and the pee must be collected midstream. Things like toilet paper or hair must not get in the sample.

What Is a Urine Dipstick Test?

A dipstick is a thin, plastic stick with strips of chemicals on it. A nurse or technician puts it into the urine (pee) sample. Then, its chemical patches will change color if the sample contains things like white blood cells, protein, or glucose.

If your daughter is having her period at the time of the test, let the doctor know.

Why Are Urine Dipstick Tests Done?

The results of a urine dipstick test can help when doctors suspect problems like urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney disease, diabetes, or a urinary tract injury. Other tests usually are needed before a definite diagnosis can be made.

What if I Have Questions?

If you have questions about the urine dipstick test, talk to your doctor.

Medically reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: March 2023