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Hemoglobin A1c: About Your Child's Test

What is it?

An A1c test is a blood test that gives information about your child's average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. This test also is called a glycohemoglobin test or a hemoglobin A1c test.

Why is this test done?

The A1c test is done to check how well your child's diabetes has been controlled over the past 2 to 3 months. You and your doctor can use this information to adjust your child's treatment, if needed.

How do you prepare for the test?

Your child doesn't need to stop eating before the A1c test. This test can be done at any time during the day, even after a meal.

How is the test done?

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from an arm. In some health centers it can be done by finger-poke.

What do the results of the test mean?

The test result is usually given as a percentage. Most experts recommend a target A1c of 7.5% or less in children with type 1 diabetes and a target A1c of 7.0% or less in children with type 2 diabetes. Work with your child's doctor to set your child's target A1c.

The A1c test result also can be used to find your child's estimated average glucose, or eAG. The eAG and A1c show the same thing in two different ways. They both help you learn more about your child's average blood sugar range over the past 2 to 3 months. A1C is shown as a percent, while eAG uses the same units (mmol/L) as your child's glucose meter.

Examples:

  • 5.5–6.5% A1c = 6.2–7.7 mmol/L
  • 6.5–6.9% A1c = 7.8–8.5 mmol/L
  • 7.0–7.4% A1c = 8.6–9.3 mmol/L
  • 7.5–7.9% A1c = 9.4–10.1 mmol/L
  • 8.0–8.5% A1c = 10.2–10.9 mmol/L

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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