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Pediatric Catheter Supplies: A Complete Guide for Parents & Caregivers

Pediatric Catheter Supplies Complete Guide for Parents and Caregivers

If your child is starting their catheterization journey or you’re on the lookout for new pediatric catheter supplies that could better suit their needs, you’re in the right place.

180 Medical has over two decades of experience helping people of all ages find the right catheters. Our highly-trained team of Pediatric Catheter Specialists can provide free pediatric catheter samples, insurance guidance, compassionate support, and helpful educational tools for you and your child.

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This guide for parents and caregivers of children who need to use catheters may help shed some light on the many pediatric catheters available today — from the simplicity of straight catheters to the convenience of pocket catheters and ready-to-use catheter options.

What Are Pediatric Length Catheters?

Pediatric catheters are specifically sized catheters for children from newborns to adolescents. This means the catheter French sizes are smaller to suit a smaller urethra or stoma for catheterization.

Also, they’re a more easy-to-handle length for children at an average of 10 inches. This is because girls’ and boys’ urethras are also shorter than adult male and female urethras.

Not sure where to start from here? Catheters for girls and catheters for boys are available in several different options and types. You can also choose from a wide selection of the leading catheter brands available.

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Types of Pediatric Catheter Supplies

When it comes to pediatric catheterization, getting the right supplies with the best service can make all the difference.

As a parent or caregiver, you want to ensure that your child will feel comfortable and confident, whether you’re in charge of cathing them or they’re learning how to catheterize on their own.

Here, we’ll dive into the most common types of intermittent pediatric catheter supplies. Let’s go over what makes each option different and their potential benefits.

Straight Pediatric Length Catheters

Straight catheters are the original technology with a fairly simple construction. A straight, uncoated catheter has the typical insertion tip and funnel end as other catheters, and it requires the manual application of catheter lubricant before use.

  • A cost-effective option
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Requires manual application of catheter lubricant

view more pediatric straight uncoated catheters

Hydrophilic and Pre-Lubricated Catheters for Children

Hydrophilic catheters feature a special coating or technology that becomes very slippery when wet. This provides a smoother insertion, helps reduce friction within the urethra, and enhances comfort.

Typically, this requires manual activation of the hydrophilic technology with an included water packet, such as the popular GentleCath™ Glide Catheter, which is available in pediatric French sizes.

Some hydrophilic catheters are pre-hydrated, so you don’t need to activate them. For example, the BD Magic3™ GO Pediatric Catheter is ready to use and does not require additional lubricating jelly.

Hydrophilic catheters and pre-lubricated catheters may also help minimize the risk of your child getting a UTI (urinary tract infection) since these catheter types often feature a handle or grip of some sort to handle it without touching the tube directly.

  • Smoother lubrication that will not easily slough off
  • Reduces friction to minimize discomfort
  • May help reduce the risk of infection

view more hydrophilic pediatric catheters

Pediatric Closed System Catheters

Closed system catheters are an all-in-one option with an attached collection bag. This will typically include either a pre-lubricated catheter or a hydrophilic catheter, which is housed inside its own collection bag. Closed system catheters for children offer optimal sterility, which can be helpful, especially for children prone to getting UTIs.

Parents and caregivers may find this option especially helpful when traveling or cathing in public restrooms. It is also a great option for children in wheelchairs, as they can catheterize without having to transfer from their chair to a toilet.

  • May help reduce the risk of infection
  • Ideal for children in wheelchairs or frequent travelers
  • Many options also include insertion supplies to enhance hygiene, such as gloves, antiseptic wipes, underpads, and disposal bags

view more pediatric closed system catheters

Navigating Insurance Coverage for Pediatric Catheters

Understanding how insurance covers pediatric catheters can be complex, but 180 Medical and our team of insurance experts make it easier. We want to ensure your child gets the catheter supplies they need without unexpected expenses throwing you a curveball.

Insurance coverage for medical supplies, including catheters, can vary between policies and insurers. That’s why it’s pretty impossible to give an answer that’s the same for everyone without verifying your coverage.

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However, we can shed some light on your options. Here’s how we’ll help from the start.

1. We quickly verify your insurance plan’s catheter coverage.

As soon as you contact us and provide your health insurance information, our experts will begin to work on verifying your insurance plan or plans. We can confirm what types of pediatric catheters are covered under your plan. Plus, we’ll get a clear answer on allowables and supply limits.

2. We seamlessly handle getting your child’s prescription and additional documentation if required.

Next, we’ll get to work on processing your child’s prescription for pediatric catheter supplies and related urologic products, along with any documentation your insurance requires.

Some private insurance plans and certain state Medicaid plans may also require pre-authorization or prior authorization (PA) for specific medical supplies or amounts. We’ll handle that for you too!

3. Our specialized Pediatric Catheter Team will contact you to explain your child’s catheter options.

One of our friendly specialists will reach back out to you to go over your coverage, your child’s prescription, and the allowable amounts of catheters your child can receive per month.

Then it’s time to go over your product options. 180 Medical is one the leading catheter suppliers in America, and we’ve specialized in this product type for over 20 years. We can offer free samples from one of the widest varieties of catheter brands available on the market so you can find the catheter that works best for your child.

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4. When you’re ready, we ship your order directly to your door!

180 Medical will quickly process and ship your order for free. Then we’ll follow up with you and make sure you’re satisfied with your order. We offer easy reordering options as well as a handy My180Medical mobile app so you can track shipments, confirm upcoming orders, update your info, and more.

Our specialists are here to provide ongoing support and helpful resources. We can even walk you through the catheterization process.

Get started by reaching out to our Pediatric Catheter Specialists team. We’re ready to help you!

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180 Medical Kids Club Offers Support, Fun, and Learning

The 180 Medical Kids Club is designed for families who are new to navigating the process of intermittent catheterization. We know it can feel daunting, but you’re not alone. We’re here to make the transition to using catheters a smooth and positive experience!

Why join the Kids Club?

  • Normalize catheter usage through engaging stories and fun activities featuring our characters Ethan and Emma
  • Receive clear instructions and tips on safe, hygienic catheterization
  • Support for parents and caregivers

Joining is easy and free. You can sign up to receive a special 180 Medical Kids Club backpack along with an engaging storybook and other surprises, all aimed at making your child’s catheterization journey easier. Available only in the United States.

Learn more and get started at

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Answers to Common Questions About Pediatric Catheters

Q: How do I know which catheter French size is right for my child?

A: Catheter sizes are determined by the French size scale (Fr). French size is the diameter of the catheter’s tube.

In order to know which size is right for your child, please consult with a prescribing healthcare professional, such as your child’s pediatric urologist. They can determine the correct size for your child’s anatomy in order to ensure comfort and effectiveness in draining the bladder.

Q: Can my child learn to self-catheterize on their own?

A: Yes! Many children eventually learn to self-cath. It will all depend on their age, dexterity, and comfort level. 180 Medical offers several different helpful educational resources to help aid you as you teach your child to take out their cathing routine on their own, including the resources provided through the 180 Medical Kids Club.

Our Pediatric Catheter Specialists team will gladly help walk you through this process. Your pediatric urologist or another prescribing healthcare professional may also offer in-office training.

Q: How often should my child catheterize?

A: The frequency of your child’s catheterization routine is entirely individual. Some children may only need to catheterize once or twice a day, while others may need to catheterize up six to eight times per day.

For answers regarding your child’s catheterization needs, consult with their prescribing healthcare provider. They’ll be able to let you know how often per day your child should be using their intermittent catheters.

Get answers to many more questions about pediatric catheters, order management, and more at 180 Medical’s one-stop Help Center!

180 Medical is Your Partner On Your Child’s Catheterization Journey

Choosing the right pediatric catheter supplies for your child is so important for their comfort and well-being. It’s our goal to ensure that you find the right type of insurance-covered catheter for your child to fit their needs as they grow.

180 Medical and our team of Pediatric Catheter Specialists are here to support you and your child every step of the way. Reach out to us today to get started!

Call Toll-Free (877) 688-2729

About the Author
Pediatric Catheter Supplies: A Complete Guide for Parents & Caregivers
Jessica is the Sr. Marketing Specialist at 180 Medical, and she has been with the company for 15 years. She loves getting to be creative in her role and hearing from customers about the positive impact we've made on their lives.

Outside of work, you can find her hanging out with her husband and their dogs or browsing garden centers (where she will almost certainly buy another houseplant she doesn't really need).