Iron Test: About Your Child's Test

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What is it?

This test measures the amount of iron in your child's blood. Too little iron can cause anemia, which can cause weakness, tiredness, or lack of stamina. Too much iron can cause hemochromatosis. This disease usually is passed down in families. It can cause tiredness, weakness, liver problems, and pain in the joints.

Why is this test done?

An iron test is done to:

  • Check for too much or too little iron in the blood.
  • See if your child's diet is providing enough iron.
  • Find out if treatment to keep the right amount of iron in your child's blood is working.

How do you prepare for the test?

Make sure your child doesn't eat or drink (other than water) for 12 hours before the test. Your child will also need to avoid iron supplements for 12 to 24 hours before the test. The doctor will give you specific instructions. This test is often done first thing in the morning.

How is the test done?

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your child's test results.

Where can you learn more?

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.