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Health Information For Parents
A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken from the body to be tested in a lab. Doctors order blood tests to check things such as the levels of glucose, hemoglobin, or white blood cells. This can help them detect problems like a disease or medical condition. Sometimes, blood tests can help them see how well an organ (such as the liver or kidneys) is working.
A hemoglobin A1c test measures how well controlled glucose levels have been for the last 3 months. Glucose is a type of sugar used by the body for energy. Glucose levels and hemoglobin A1c levels can be high if diabetes is not well controlled.
When a child has diabetes, hemoglobin A1c levels are followed to see how well medicines are working. If a child with diabetes has a high hemoglobin A1c level, it may mean that medicines need to be adjusted. Sometimes a hemoglobin A1c test is done as part of a routine checkup to screen for problems.
Your child should be able to eat and drink normally unless also getting other tests that require fasting beforehand. Tell your doctor about any medicines your child takes because some drugs might affect the test results.
Wearing a T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt for the test can make things easier for your child, and you also can bring along a toy or book as a distraction.
Most blood tests take a small amount of blood from a vein. To do that, a health professional will:
In babies, blood draws are sometimes done as a “heel stick collection.” After cleaning the area, the health professional will prick your baby’s heel with a tiny needle (or lancet) to collect a small sample of blood.
Collecting a sample of blood is only temporarily uncomfortable and can feel like a quick pinprick.
Parents usually can stay with their child during a blood test. Encourage your child to relax and stay still because tensing muscles can make it harder to draw blood. Your child might want to look away when the needle is inserted and the blood is collected. Help your child to relax by taking slow deep breaths or singing a favorite song.
Most blood tests take just a few minutes. Occasionally, it can be hard to find a vein so the health professional may need to try more than once.
The health professional will remove the elastic band and the needle and cover the area with cotton or a bandage to stop the bleeding. Afterward, there may be some mild bruising, which should go away in a few days.
Blood samples are processed by a machine, and it may take a few hours to a day for the results to be available. If the test results show signs of a problem, the doctor might order other tests to figure out what the problem is and how to treat it.
A hemoglobin A1c test is a safe procedure with minimal risks. Some kids might feel faint or lightheaded from the test. A few kids and teens have a strong fear of needles. If your child is anxious, talk with the doctor before the test about ways to make the procedure easier.
A small bruise or mild soreness around the blood test site is common and can last for a few days. Get medical care for your child if the discomfort gets worse or lasts longer.
If you have questions about the hemoglobin A1c test, speak with your doctor or the health professional doing the blood draw.
You’ve probably heard your child’s doctor talk a lot about diabetes control. What is it and why is it important?
To keep blood sugar levels under control, you have to check them regularly. Learn about checking and recording your child’s blood sugar levels.
Blood tests and insulin injections can be a challenge for kids with diabetes and their parents. Here are some strategies for coping with these necessary procedures.
A hemoglobin electrophoresis can help diagnose diseases involving abnormal hemoglobin production, and often is performed as part of newborn screening tests.
Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells. A hemoglobin test can be done as part of a routine checkup to screen for problems and or because a child isn’t feeling well.
The glycosylated hemoglobin test shows what a person’s average blood glucose level was for the 2 to 3 months before the test.
These videos show what’s involved in getting a blood test and what it’s like to be the person taking the blood sample.
People who have diabetes may hear or read a lot about controlling, or managing, the condition. But what is diabetes control and why is it so important?
This blood test can tell someone with diabetes if his or her diabetes is under control or out of control.
Sometimes you need a medical test to give your doctor more information about your health. Find out how 10 common tests are done in these videos for kids.
A blood test might sound scary, but it usually takes less than a minute. Watch what happens in this video for kids.
Does your child have type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Learn how to manage the disease and keep your child healthy.
Our Diabetes Center provides information and advice for teens about treating and living with diabetes.
Diabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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