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Clinical Tip: For stool samples, try this floating catcher

When I have to collect a stool specimen from a toilet-trained child, I have always asked parents to drape plastic wrap over the toilet bowl to catch the stool. Another method, suggested by a parent, is to float a foam paper plate in the toilet bowl. The plate catches the stool, and the child doesn't fear that his bottom is going to touch the poop. Parents who have tried this technique report that it works well.

Marjorie Sexton, MDCoon Rapids, Minn.