If a doctor wants to have your child’s blood tested, it would be to check the level of things like glucose, hemoglobin and white blood cells and help diagnose a medical condition. A complete blood count (CBC) test is a blood test that helps doctors check the level of the different types of cells in the blood: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. This can give your doctor information about things like infections, inflammation and other conditions. Your child should be able to eat and drink as they normally would before the test. You can help make the test easier for your child by making sure they have a short sleeved shirt on. For a baby, the blood draw may be done as a “heel stick collection.” They will use a tiny needle to prick the baby’s heel to collect the blood sample. Your child may show some bruising afterwards. This is normal and should be gone in a couple days.
The urine test for kids is designed to confirm that their kidneys and other organs are working correctly. It’s also used to check for an infection in the kidneys, bladder and urinary tract. The kidney’s job is to filter waste material out of the bloodstream so a urine sample can show that there is a health problem if there are irregularities.
Getting a urine sample from a child can be a tall order. One problem is that the skin around the urinary opening can contain the same bacteria that causes a UTI. This bacteria can easily contaminate a urine sample. So, that skin needs to be cleaned and rinsed immediately before the sample is collected.
Ideally, the sample is collected in this manner: The parent cleans the skin around the urinary opening. Then the child begins to urinate – stops momentarily – then urinates again into the collection container. The goal is to catch the urine in “midstream.”
The test for this will determine whether your child has a bacteria called Group A Streptococcus. This is what causes the infection known as strep throat. These infections are pretty common for children ages 5-15. If your child has both a sore throat and a fever, the doctor might want to perform a rapid strep screening. Some other signs to look for if you think your child may have strep throat are: difficulty swallowing, no appetite, chills, low energy, swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Some people also get a pink skin rash that can feel rough like sandpaper.
The flu is an infection of the respiratory tract that is caused by a virus. That virus has no trouble spreading from person to person – especially during flu season. Flu season in the United States is typically from October to May.
In order to prevent the flu, it is recommended that everyone who is at least six months old get the flu vaccine every year. It is best to bring your kids in for the vaccine before November, but if you miss coming in at the beginning of flu season, — don’t worry — it’s not too late to get one if the flu is still going around. If you have a sick child, it might be best to wait until they feel better to get the vaccine. Give us a call and we’ll help you decide what is best for your child. Remember, getting a flu shot can be scary for young children, but our staff is trained to help them be brave.
This disease normally targets the lungs and it spreads through the air from person to person through coughing, sneezing, breathing or even laughing. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers tuberculosis to be a public health concern because infants and young children are more likely to develop a life-threatening form of the disease. It is one of the world’s deadliest diseases, but fairly uncommon in the United States.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children undergo a tuberculin skin test if they have been exposed to someone with active or suspected tuberculosis or they are an immigrant from a country where tuberculosis is endemic, or have traveled to one of those countries for more than one week.
How you can help your child
A trip to the doctor can be scary for kids. Especially if a needle is involved. There are some things you can do to make the experience as easy as possible. Here are some tips that might help:
- Find out if the test is a finger-stick or a blood draw so your child can be prepared.
- Have your child drink plenty of fluid before the test. This can improve their blood flow and make it easier for the doctor to find a vein.
- If possible, try going to the lab ahead of time so your child will be familiar with the surroundings and people in the office.
- Explain things to your child in a way that is comforting and informs them of exactly what is going to happen. Tell them that it will hurt, but that it will over over quickly. Let them know that you will do everything you can to make the experience as easy as possible.
- When at the lab, stay with your child the entire time. Unless they are old enough to be alone and don’t want you there.
- Your child might do better if they don’t watch the blood draw. Bring something to distract them like a favorite book or video on your phone.
- Get an early start to the lab so you don’t get stuck in traffic. In the car, play music that your child likes. If you can, have siblings stay with a sitter.
- Plan to do something fun after the blood draw.
- No matter how well things go, give your child a lot of credit for making it through the experience.