Catheter guides for children

Catheterisation of children is always a sensitive matter. Use the guides here as inspiration to help you introduce your child to the process, and to teach them how to catheterise.

Helping children empty their bladder

Because all children are different, it’s important to choose the catheter that’s right for their individual needs at any time. Once they’re ready, you can begin to help them take responsibility for the way they empty their bladder. Help your child to empty their bladder

Using a catheter to empty your child’s bladder

You will need to help your child urinate until they are about five years old. Most children with spina bifida cannot empty their bladder naturally, so you will need to use a catheter, which is a thin plastic tube that is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder. It’s a simple and painless technique.

Why bladder emptying is so important

It’s important that you and your child both understand why bladder emptying is so important and that you get into a good routine.
The goals of good bladder management are to:

  • Prevent damage to the kidneys and prevent infections in general
  • Get continent
  • Improve the child’s quality of life
  • Help the child become independent

If your child’s bladder is not emptied regularly, it can cause infections. Even small amounts of urine left in the bladder can cause infections.

Getting started

Before starting bladder emptying you should always consult a doctor or a nurse to get proper instructions in how to use a catheter.

Together with the healthcare professional, you will decide what type of catheter suits you and your child best and you’ll make a plan for how often to catheterise. Typically the bladder needs to be emptied 4–6 times a day – but this may depend on fluid intake and physical activities.

As a supplement you can use the animated user guides on this page to give you and your child a practical overview on how to catheterise. Choose the one that suits your child’s profile the best:
Coloplast also offers a step-by-step instruction you can print and bring to the toilet (pdf, 1MB).

Helping your child learn

When your child starts to show an interest – normally between the ages of three and five – you should start teaching them to empty their own bladder. Coloplast developed Wee Games to help you and your child learn how to do this in a fun way.


Teaching children to catheterise using the Wee Game

As soon as your child shows an interest in emptying their bladder themselves you should start to involve them. A fun way to do this is to use the Wee Game – a card-based game that teaches your child the basic steps. The Wee Game

Becoming independent

As your child gets older, they will want to become more independent. This is a natural part of growing up. The same goes for the child’s toilet habits. When you feel your child is ready, you can start teaching them about going to the toilet and emptying their bladder.

The Wee Game

The Wee Game is a set of cards that you can use to teach your child how to empty their bladder. The cards can be used to play different fun games that can be adapted to suit age and skills. Simply print the cards, cut them out and you’re ready to play.

The Wee Game has been designed to help you and your child learn toilet habits in a fun way. It’s simple to use and as the child gets the hang of it, it’s easy to make it more challenging. Have fun!

The game comes in a girl and a boy version.
Download Wee Game playing cards for girls, (pdf, 1MB) - instructions for girls

Download Wee Game playing cards for boys (pdf, 1MB) - instructions for boys


Remember…The Wee Games are meant as a training supplement, not to replace actual instructions for use. Consult a doctor or a nurse to get proper guidance or training in how to use the catheter you have chosen and always read the instructions.


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