What is the normal blood sugar level in children?

The blood sugar rate in children is one of the most important indicators of their health. This factor determines the fact that special attention is paid to the determination of this value in clinical practice.

A blood test for sugar in children and for the presence of a possible deviation from the norm should be carried out regularly. Such laboratory tests make it possible to detect the presence of pathologies at the earliest stages of their progression. 

What analysis methods are used to determine values?

Most often, during laboratory tests, a biomaterial is taken for analysis from a finger. In the event that the result of the study is overestimated, the child is assigned a second examination.

In addition to repeated sampling of material for analysis, it determines glucose tolerance. For this purpose, a glucose load test is performed. Also, if necessary, an indicator of the level of glycated hemoglobin is examined . 

In newborns, a study to determine the blood sugar of the child and the presence or absence of abnormalities, the biomaterial is taken from the earlobe or heel. This is due to the fact that it is difficult to take a sufficient amount of material from the finger at this age.

If it is necessary to clarify the analyzes obtained by examining capillary blood, the doctor can send the child to take biomaterial from a vein for laboratory research, it should be noted that this method of analysis for infants is used extremely rarely and only in exceptional cases.

A blood sugar test under stress is performed in children over 5 years of age. During this diagnostic examination, the biomaterial is taken every 30 minutes for two hours after the child is given a glucose solution to drink.

After receiving the results, the doctor on the dynamics of deviations from the norm in the child can conclude about the absorption of glucose by the body. After carrying out such an analysis and identifying deviations from normal indicators, a final conclusion is made about the presence of diabetes or a pre-diabetes condition in the child.

Checking the norm in the blood of a child is carried out for children belonging to certain risk groups for diabetes.

These risk groups include:

  • premature babies;
  • children born with underweight;
  • children who have experienced hypoxia at birth or during development in the womb;
  • after receiving severe hypothermia or frostbite;
  • having disruptions in metabolic processes;
  • children who have close relatives suffering from diabetes.

Regular monitoring of the blood sugar rate in children allows you to timely identify the appearance of abnormalities and prescribe adequate therapy, preventing the development of the disease and its complications.

Regular measurements of the concentration in the child’s body, if there is a suspicion of a possible deviation from the norm, can be carried out at home using a glucometer. Such measurements do not require special preparation from the parents. Using this device, you can conduct regular daily monitoring of the state of this physiological indicator of the baby’s body. 

Expert opinion

Dilyara Lebedeva

Certified specialist, endocrinologist

If there are abnormalities in the body, it is recommended to periodically take control tests in the clinical laboratory of the medical institution.

What are the normal indicators in children?

Indicators of normal blood glucose levels in children differ significantly from those of an adult.

Doctors have developed a special table of dependence of the blood sugar level in children by age.

AgeReference values ​​mmol / l
Up to 12 months2.6-2.8 – 4.44
1 year3.3-5.0
2-3 years3.3-5.0
3-4 years3.3-5.0
4-5 years3.3-5.0
5-6 years old3.3-5.0
6-7 years old3.3 – 5.7-5.8
8-9 years old3.3-5.5
9 years3.3-5.5
10 years3.3-5.5
11 years3.3-5.5
12 years old3.3-5.5
13-14 years old3.3-5.5
15 years3.3-5.5
16 years3.3-5.5
17 years3.3-5.5
18 years3.3-5.5

The sugar rate in children, when determined in different clinical laboratories, may differ depending on the methods used in the study. In children younger than 5 years of age, normal glucose levels vary with age. Normal values ​​of this indicator in the composition of plasma in childhood from 6 years of age and older are similar to those in adults and ranges from 4 to 6 mmol / L.

In adolescence, due to the occurrence of hormonal changes in the body, there is a slight change in the values ​​of the carbohydrate content in the plasma. Such deviations should be taken into account when conducting research. The carbohydrate content is not affected by the child’s gender.

When conducting a study of a child, any deviations from the normal values ​​of this physiological indicator cannot be ignored, since they are dangerous for the body, regardless of the direction of displacement.

Reasons for deviations in indicators

The amount of glucose in the body depends on a large number of different factors.

Such factors are the child’s nutrition, the quality of the child’s digestive tract, the degree of influence on the metabolism of various hormones synthesized in the body. These hormones are biologically active components produced by the pancreas and thyroid glands, hypothalamus, adrenal glands, etc.

If indicators are found below normal, this may indicate preconditions for the development of hypoglycemia, and the detection of an increased content may indicate a high probability of developing hyperglycemia.

In the case of registration with several repeated measurements in adolescents or young children of values ​​above 6.1-6.2 mmol / l, the presence of diabetes is diagnosed.

The causes of deviations upward from the physiological norm of glucose in the child’s body can be:

  1. Hereditary factors.
  2. Development of viral pathologies.
  3. Impaired motor activity and, as a consequence, the appearance of excess body weight.
  4. Violation of the rules of proper nutrition and malnutrition.
  5. Diseases of the thyroid gland.
  6. The presence of hyperfunctional activity of the adrenal glands.

Low rates occur in the following cases:

  • starvation and dehydration of the child’s body;
  • development of pathologies in the work of the digestive system;
  • the occurrence of poisoning with heavy metals and drugs;
  • the formation of neoplasms that provoke increased synthesis of insulin;
  • pathology in the development of the brain;
  • ailments of the blood system – leukemia, lymphoma, etc.

To prevent the development of a pathology such as diabetes in a child, it is necessary to carefully monitor the diet and the degree of physical activity on the body.

Hyperglycemia and diabetes in children

Hyperglycemia is a deviation of the amount of glucose upward from the physiological norm. The most common cause of the increase in the number is the development of diabetes.

In children under the age of 10, type 1 diabetes mellitus is detected in 90% of cases. Its occurrence is provoked by a lack of insulin, a hormone due to which glucose is utilized.

The reasons for the onset of diabetes in childhood are not known for certain, but a hereditary predisposition to pathology has been established.

Depending on the magnitude of the deviation from the norm, three stages of hyperglycemia are distinguished:

  1. Weakly expressed – 6.6-6.7 – 8.2-8.3 mmol / L.
  2. Moderate severity – 8.3-8.5 – less than 11.0 mmol / l.
  3. Severe stage – more than 11 mmol / l

Most often, damage to the child’s organs is observed even when the indicator remains at the level of 6.8-7.2 for a long time. If the value rises to 16.0, the onset of a precoma state is possible, which manifests itself with vivid symptoms and is accompanied by impaired consciousness. With an increase in the amount in plasma to 33.0, the patient falls into a coma, which can be fatal.

When conducting a glucose tolerance test, it should be borne in mind that the permissible values ​​of sugar in the child’s blood are slightly higher than generally accepted.

For a child, the following indicators can be considered the norm:

  • an hour after providing a glucose load of more than 8.0 mmol per liter, 8.7-8.8 mmol per liter are most often recorded in children;
  • an hour and a half after the application of the load, this indicator drops to a value of 7.8;
  • after 2-2.5 hours the level is 6.5-6.8

In the event that the measurement results vary within the permissible range, then in the future it will be necessary to additionally periodically check this physiological indicator and maintain it within the required limits.

It should be remembered that in infants the immunity is weak and the occurrence of even the slightest deviation leads to the rapid progression of diabetes, this condition requires immediate therapeutic measures.

Low glucose – the development of hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a state of the baby’s body when there is a decrease in the amount of glucose in the blood plasma below the permissible values. The most severe manifestation is the development of hypoglycemic coma with the subsequent possible death.

The diagnosis of hypoglycemia in a diabetic child is made due to the presence of a characteristic clinical picture and a decrease in sugars in the composition of capillary blood below the minimum acceptable level.

In the clinical picture of a pathological condition, there are five successive stages. A hypoglycemic coma with a decrease in carbohydrates in the body below the permissible levels in a child develops sharply, literally within a few minutes.

Before the onset of a dangerous condition, a baby develops a whole complex of symptoms, the main ones of which are tremors, increased sweating and increased heart rate.

In the event of a hypoglycemic coma, a child has:

  1. Blanching of the skin.
  2. The skin becomes moist due to increased perspiration.
  3. The development of tachycardia and areflexia is observed.
  4. The child’s pupils become narrower.

The first symptoms characteristic of pathology occur in a child when glucose drops below 3.33. At a concentration of 2.7-1.5, all the typical signs of hypoglycemia appear, and loss of consciousness occurs at a concentration of 1.38-1.5 millimoles per liter.

Consequences of level deviations from the norm

A sharp decrease in the concentration of carbohydrates is manifested by a temporary increase in the activity of the baby. At the age of one, such a child becomes restless. Older children with this condition may ask for sweet foods. Upon receiving sweet food, the child’s condition immediately improves. An excessive decrease in the amount of sugars can provoke a hypoglycemic state and loss of consciousness with the subsequent development of a hypoglycemic coma. 

With a significant increase in blood glucose, the child has weakness, headaches, and a decrease in the temperature of the extremities can be observed. Additionally, the child begins to feel thirsty. In some cases, severe itching and problems in the functioning of the digestive tract appear.

Both a decrease in carbohydrates below the permissible concentration and an increase above the permissible level can cause serious harm to the child’s body, which is associated with the occurrence of pathologies in the work of internal organs, in addition to this, disturbances in the work of the central nervous system appear.

These pathological conditions require immediate correction to prevent the development of complications in the body.

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