Should Kids Have Regular Blood Work Done?

Updated on February 13, 2011
C.T. asks from Parker, CO
12 answers

Stacey's post on "toddler belly" prompted me to wonder if kids should have regular blood work done as part of their physicals. I've asked my doc and all she said was that they didnt do it because it was "invasive". It just makes me wonder if I shouldnt press my doc further on this issue and ask for the basic CBC/Metabolic panel along with thyroid function, cholesterol and even Vitamin D levels.

What do you think?

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answers from Salt Lake City on

Only if there is a concern. Blood work won't necessarily find issues any earlier than other, less invasive, means.

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answers from Davenport on

Good question! In most cases, I would say it doesn't need to be done. But if there is a concern (such as the one I brought up in my post) I would say it should be done - and they might as well go ahead and do the full panel of tests. When my daughter turned 1, she had blood taken to test for lead. Drawing blood out of her tiny arm was one of the worst things I have ever seen!! She screamed and was so angry that she is now scared to even be in a Dr's office and panics when we go (she's only 2). These poor little ones go through so many shots in the first few months of life that I would hate to add more to it so I am hesitant to say "Yes, do testing just in case." Does that make sense?

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answers from Denver on

I don't know, but in response to teh woman with a fearful child after a blood draw, we bought my son a medical "doctor kit" toy and he thought it was the coolest thing to look in mom's ears, listen to my heart... take "medicine" etc. It made the trips to the doctor a science experiment for him (he got it before he turned two and is two now). The prick to draw blood was the coolest part for him, no tears - just watched with curious interest.

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answers from Huntsville on

Thats how we found out my grand daughter had high cholesterol at the age of 4. It is invasive but worth it. She is soon to be 7 and eats healthy and makes sure everyone else does too


answers from Norfolk on

Unless there is indication of a problem, no. And I'm not too sure cholesterol screening is a good idea in kids. Cholesterol is a basic building block for just about everything in your body. I'm not sure they know what healthy optimum levels should be in an adult much less a growing child.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I vote NO WAY on something unneccesary



answers from Oklahoma City on

Our pediatrician pricks the finger and fills a little vial. They test for lead and do a CBC, I am not sure if they do anything else but they do it every year at their age up appointment. It's when they get their shots (if needed) and physicals.



answers from Pueblo on

As the Mom of a child with a thyroid condition, I do understand the value of blood work. However, like another respondent, my daughter hates the doctor/ hospital/ any place that look remotely like a dr's office. (And we did try the doctor's toy set which has helped our younger kids but not her yet.) I am intrigued by the doctors that do the finger prick each year but we are on our third doctor (we have moved a lot!) and none of them do that If you have a specific concern, then ask. Otherwise, you could check around to other doctors and see if they do blood tests and then consider switching practices (if necessary).

Good luck and I'm interested to know what you find out!
M. P


answers from Chicago on

Some kids do! My friend's pediatrician draws blood once a year and does a full screen of tests. My kids have never had blood drawn. I think it's only really necessary if something seems wrong. But I'm sure if you want to have it done you could ask. (My kids have always been glad they didn't go to my friend's pediatrician!)



answers from Houston on

My pediatrician does routine bloodwork every 2 -3 years. My kids are 6, 4, and 1 1/2 and haven't been traumatized by the blood draws. They sat on my lap for the blood draws. My pediatrician even ordered urine tests. There weren't any specific problems. She is just being preventative.



answers from Dallas on

I believe it is too invasive to do regularly. If there is a problem with your child that you feel needs deeper investigation, then fine. Otherwise, a regular visit to the chiropractor would do you and your child more good for preventative health.



answers from Pocatello on

Speaking from experience with 4 sons, blood tests should only be used if the doctor feels a need for the test. If you notice a change in your childs health then ask the doctor about it but if your child is happy and healthy, why risk having them scared of going to the doctors. I just had to have bloodwork done on my 9 year old son and he had to have lorazipam to get it done because he was so afraid, (lorazipam on the second attempt at getting the blood draw, first time was a disaster and he wouldn't get it done), he actually did need the bloodwork, not routine but specific tests, otherwise I would have left it. Routine blood work doesn't usually happen until adulthood, without having a cause for routine testing.

Next question: How Often Does Your Child Get Blood Drawn for Physical?