Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
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 glucose test measures how much glucose is in the blood. Glucose is a type of sugar used by the body for energy.
A glucose test is done to check for low or high levels of glucose. Sometimes it’s done as part of a routine checkup to screen for problems, and sometimes because a child has not been feeling well.
A low glucose level is called hypoglycemia. A high level of glucose is called hyperglycemia. High glucose levels can point to diabetes.
Your child may be asked to stop eating and drinking for 8 to 12 hours before the test. 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.
Glucose is sometimes tested with a “fingerstick” test. The health profession will clean your child’s finger, then prick the tip of it with a tiny needle (or lancet) to collect the 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 anywhere from a few minutes 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 glucose 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 glucose test, speak with your doctor or the health professional doing the blood draw.
Blood glucose level is the amount of glucose in the blood.
Hyperglycemia occurs when the level of glucose in the blood is higher than it should be.
Hypoglycemia occurs when the level of glucose in the blood is lower than it should be.
If you have diabetes, you can use this printable sheet to record your blood glucose levels.
Our Diabetes Center provides information and advice for teens about treating and living with diabetes.
Find out what the experts have to say.
A blood test might sound scary, but it usually takes less than a minute. Watch what happens in this video for kids.
When blood glucose levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia. Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that require immediate treatment.
To keep blood sugar levels under control, you have to check them regularly. Learn about checking and recording your child’s blood sugar levels.
These videos show what’s involved in getting a blood test and what it’s like to be the person taking the blood sample.
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.
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.
If your child has diabetes, you can use this printable sheet to record his or her blood glucose levels.
Learning what you can about type 2 diabetes will let you help your child manage and live with the disease. Here are the basics.
When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) are too high, it’s called hyperglycemia. A major goal in controlling diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels as close to the desired range as possible.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.