This test measures the amount of sodium in your child’s blood. Sodium is one of several chemicals in the blood called electrolytes. Electrolytes help control the amount of fluid in your child’s body and the way your child’s muscles, nerves, and organs work, including your child’s heart. Your child needs the right balance of sodium and other electrolytes in your child’s body to stay healthy. The balance of electrolytes in your child’s body can be affected by food, medicines, drinking too much or too little water, or problems with your child’s lungs, kidneys and other organs.
Salt is often the main source of sodium in your child’s diet.
The sodium level is usually measured along with several other electrolytes to help diagnose certain diseases or conditions. The test can be helpful for checking problems with the kidneys, adrenal glands, digestive system, muscles, and nerves.
This test may also be done to see how well treatment for a disease or condition is working.
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 your child will get the result of the test.
Some of the reasons your child’s sodium level may be higher than normal are:
Some of the reasons your child’s sodium level may be lower than normal are:
Some medicines can affect the test results, such as diuretics (water pills).
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: