Cholesterol and Triglycerides Tests: About Your Child's Tests

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Cholesterol and triglycerides tests measure the amount of fats in your child's blood. This includes "good" (HDL) and "bad" (LDL) cholesterol.

Why are these tests done?

These tests are done to find out if the amount of fats in your child's blood is high.

How do you prepare for these tests?

  • Your doctor may ask that your child does not eat or drink anything except water for 9 to 14 hours before the tests. In most cases, your child will be allowed to take medicines with water on the morning of the tests.
  • Be sure to tell your doctor about all the over-the-counter and prescription medicines your child takes. And be sure to tell the doctor about any herbs or other supplements your child takes. Some of these may affect the results of these tests.

How are these tests done?

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

What should your child's cholesterol levels be?

Below are general guidelines. They are for children between the ages of 2 and 19. Talk to your doctor about your child's target levels. They may vary depending on your child's age, gender, health, and risk for certain health problems. Your child's doctor may recommend the following levels:

  • Total cholesterol: Lower than 170 mg/dL
  • LDL cholesterol: Lower than 110 mg/dL

The goal numbers for HDL cholesterol and triglycerides can depend on your child's age and gender.

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.