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Tips for Properly Collecting a Buccal Swab from a Child

Buccal swabbing is a simple and quick method for collecting a few cells from the inside of the mouth. For young children, it has many advantages over blood sampling as it is painless and minimally intrusive. Here is a small guide that will show you the various steps of the collection as well as precautions to take.

First and foremost, it is crucial to clearly define the purpose of your procedure. Make sure that those who need to be informed are aware. Now is the time to read the instructions that were sent to you and sign the collection authorizations.

After receiving your buccal swab kit, take the time to read the instructions carefully and choose the right moment for the sampling. Bath time, for example, is perfect for toddlers and babies. Older children who can understand should, however, be given a clear but brief explanation if they are to cooperate.

It is advisable to wash your hands thoroughly before proceeding. At no point should the soaked cotton come into contact with your skin. If older children are willing to open their mouths nicely, this is far from the case with babies. By gently pressing the cheeks between two fingers of one hand, you can open a passage for your cotton swab held in the other hand.

Once the collection is done, it must be quickly inserted into its tube to keep it well protected. Before proceeding, make sure that you have a complete kit, meaning 4 buccal swabs called "sterile single-use swabs."

As the name suggests, the swabbing is done by rubbing. The cells are contained in the saliva but also on the inner surface of the cheek. It is therefore unnecessary to press too hard. A few seconds are enough to properly soak the cotton. The saliva sample on the swab is then allowed to air dry before being inserted into an envelope provided for this purpose, to avoid mold.

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