This test measures the amount of calcium in your child’s blood. Your child’s nerves and muscles, including your child’s heart, need calcium to work well. Calcium is also important for healthy bones and teeth.
Your child gets calcium when your child eats or drinks dairy products and eats some vegetables (such as broccoli) and calcium-fortified food.
Most of the calcium in your child’s body is in the bones. The blood calcium test measures only the small amount of calcium in your child’s blood. This test does not measure the amount of calcium in your child’s bones.
This test may help diagnose and treat a medical problem your child is having. It does not diagnose a specific problem, but it can help your child’s healthcare provider know what other tests your child might need. It is also a way to see how well treatment for a disease is working.
This test may be done to look for or check certain medical conditions, such as:
Your child may have this test because he or she has symptoms of low calcium (hypocalcemia), such as muscle spasm, cramping, and twitching. Your child may also have this test because he or she has symptoms of high calcium (hypercalcemia), such as tiredness, being very thirsty, urinating more than usual, muscle weakness, or bone pain.
Having this test will take just a few minutes. For young babies, the heel is pricked and a small amount of the blood is taken. For older children, a small amount of blood is taken from a vein in your child’s arm with a needle. The blood is collected in tubes and sent to a lab.
Ask your child’s healthcare provider when and how you will get the result of your child’s test.
Some of the reasons your child’s calcium level may be higher than normal are:
Many other medical conditions can cause a high level of calcium.
Some of the reasons your child’s calcium level may be lower than normal are:
Your child’s body will take calcium from the bones if the calcium level in your child’s blood is low. Children with low calcium levels need treatment to prevent bone loss.
Test results are only one part of a larger picture that takes into account your child’s medical history, physical exam, and current health. Sometimes a test needs to be repeated to check the first result. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider about the results and ask questions, such as: