How to Read Pediatric Blood Test Results

Updated April 17, 2017

Paediatric blood test results are sometimes different than adult results, as the values will vary depending on age, weight and other factors. Each independent lab may have different values as well. Read the results based on what the lab defines as a normal range.

Familiarise yourself with the proper terms for different types of blood counts, or number of each type of cell. The CBC (Complete Blood Count) is one of the most common types of paediatric blood tests. Normal values include: Hematocrit (30 to 40 per cent); Hemoglobin (10 to 13 gm/dl); White Blood Count (3,000 to 10,000 cells/mcl); and Platelets (170,000 to 380,000/mm3).

Find and read the glucose range, another very common blood test for children that is used in screening for diabetes. Normal range for paediatric glucose is 60 to 100 mg/dl. Glucose is sometimes classified with cholesterol, which has a normal range of 80 to 200 mg/dl in children.

Determine electrolyte balance, which is important for blood and cell function. Normal electrolyte values are Bicarbonate (24 to 34 mEq/L); Calcium (8.8 to 10.4 mg/dl); Chloride (97 to 106 mEq/L); Magnesium (1.3 to 2.3 mg/dl); Phosphate (3.2 to 5.7 mg/dl); Potassium (3.6 to 5.2 mEq/L); and Sodium (135 to 144 mEq/L).

Understand liver function blood tests. Normal results include Bilirubin (zero to 1.4 mg/dl total; zero to .4 mg/dl direct) and Ammonia (11 to 35 mcg/dl).

Read kidney function blood test results. Normal ranges include BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) at 5 to 18 mg/dl and Creatinine at under .5 mg/dl.


Many lab results are abbreviated into measurement per amount. Cells per microliter is abbreviated as cells/mcl. Other abbreviations are listed on results as: gm/dl--grams per decilitre IU/L--international units per litre mcg/dl--micrograms per decilitre mEq/L--milliequivalents per litre mg/dl--milligrams per decilitre mm3--millimetres cubed U/L--units per litre


It is important to verify paediatric blood test results with your health care provider. Individual results can vary and will need to be interpreted by a professional.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article


About the Author

Beth Richards, a freelance writer since 2002, writes about health and draws from her 25 years as a licensed dispensing optician. She has authored several books, writes for national magazines including "Country Living" and "Organic Family" and is a health and wellness features writer for several publications. She is earning a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland.