Taking a medical and family history, listening to any concerns, and performing a physical examination usually provide the information a doctor needs to evaluate a child’s health or understand what’s causing an illness. However, sometimes doctors require medical tests to find out more.

Some common medical tests your child may need include:

Blood Tests
Blood test results can tell the doctor how well your child’s liver, kidneys, and other organs are functioning. Blood tests can also determine whether your child is getting enough nutrients in his or her diet and help detect a wide variety of illnesses or signs of infections.

X-Rays
X-rays can help doctors find a variety of conditions, including broken bones and lung infections. X-rays aren’t painful and typically involve having the child stand, sit, or lie on a table.

There are several types of X-rays. Chest X-rays look for amoralities of the heart, lungs, bones, or blood vessels in the chest and may be ordered in response to symptoms or help diagnose a medical condition. Ultrasounds look for collections of fluid in the body, for problems with the kidneys, or look at a baby’s brain. CAT scans look for things such as appendicitis, internal bleeding, or abnormal growths. MRIs are often used to look at bones, joints, and the brain. An upper GI is a study that involves swallowing while X-rays are taken of the top part of the digestive system and are used to evaluate things like difficulty swallowing and gastoesophageal reflux.

Other Medical Tests

  • Throat cultures (Strep Screen) are often ordered to test for germs that cause strep throat.
  • Stool tests are used to help determine what’s wrong when your child has a problem in the stomach, intestines, or other part of the gastrointestinal system.  Stool tests may also be ordered if your doctor is suspicious of an allergy, infection or digestive problems.
  • Urine tests are ordered to make sure the kidneys are functioning problem or to determine if there is an infection in the kidneys or bladder.
Allergy Evaluation

An allergy evaluation may be necessary, especially if your child has bronchial asthma. Evaluation may include allergy skin testing for specific substances known as allergens that may trigger asthma attacks and/or blood testing that detects the presence of specific antibodies to various allergens.

Hearing and Vision Tests

Children from a young age should be tested so that any hearing or vision problems can be detected as early as possible. Your doctor can monitor and treat the condition or, if necessary, refer you to a specialist to provide equipment to improve your child’s hearing or vision, such as glasses or a hearing aid. Early diagnosis will also ensure that a child has access to any special learning support services they need.

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Have a question about something to do with your child’s health- always seek advice from your physician or other qualified health provider.
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