A well-child exam is a regular check-up of your child’s health and development. During your visit, the doctor may request a blood test, commonly known as a complete blood count (CBC), if your child is feeling unwell. A blood test checks your child’s red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, as well as whether your child has an infection, inflammation, or deficiency of any sort.
A blood test may be routine, but it can make children feel uncomfortable or scared. Here, we will discuss how a child’s blood test is done and how you can prepare your child for it.
When Is a Blood Test Performed?
A blood test is usually performed as early as 3-5 days after a baby is born. Then, blood tests are typically performed at 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, and 4 years of age. All of these will help the doctor monitor your child’s overall health. Blood tests for infants and young children are usually heel stick tests and fingertip blood tests, which involve pricking the heel or the finger. Older children and adolescents can have a blood test done via a vein.
How Is a Blood Test Performed?
A blood test is performed by taking a blood sample from the patient. The following are the steps:
- First, the medical professional will clean the area of skin where the needle will be inserted to prevent infection.
- An elastic band will be placed around the upper arm to make the veins swell with blood.
- Then, a blood sample will be collected from a vein in the fold of the elbow.
- The blood sample will be put into a vial or syringe.
- The elastic band will be taken off and the needle will be removed from the vein.
- Then, the collection site will be covered with a bandage to stop the bleeding.
- The collected blood sample will be sent to the laboratory for analysis.
How To Prepare Your Child For a Blood Test
A blood test is nobody’s idea of fun. As a parent, your child will look to you for comfort and reassurance. Reassure your child about the test, and talk about what they can expect to feel – a quick prick or pinching sensation. It is encouraged that parents stay with their child during a blood test and help them relax by providing comfort and telling them to take deep breaths.
If your child is very young, you can distract them with a toy or by talking to them. If they are a bit older, you can take them to your own blood draws, so they can see it happen firsthand and learn there is nothing to worry about.
Child Blood Test in Purchase, NY
At BridgeSpan Medicine, our pediatricians offer on-site laboratory testing for your child’s needs. We use blood tests as a tool to help determine what could be causing symptoms or if we suspect that a child’s symptoms are caused by an underlying health issue. For any questions or to schedule your appointment, call our pediatric clinic in Purchase today at (914) 698-5544 or use our convenient online request form.