As well as the day-to-day blood glucose testing, there is another test that monitors your child’s diabetes management. The HbA1c test (usually done from a fingertip blood test either at the clinic or just before your appointment) measures diabetes management over two to three months.
The recommended level for children is generally <58mmol/mol (7.5%). But targets are individual and your paediatric diabetes team may suggest a different target for your child.
Since June 2009, the measurement units for HbA1c have changed. The test and its meaning are the same, but the numbers are different. The change has been made so that HbA1c around the world is reported in the same way. Both old and new numbers will be used until 1 October 2011 (eg 7.5%/58mmol/mol) to make sure that everyone gets used to the new numbers (eg 58mmol/mol).
For some people the HbA1c test may not be accurate, eg if your child has a blood disorder such as sickle cell anaemia, or sickle cell trait. In this case a fructosamine test will be done, which gives a measurement of diabetes management over the last two to three weeks.
- Ask your paediatric diabetes team what target your child’s HbA1c or fructosamine result should be.
- Check with them how often and where it will be taken.
- If you know your child has any type of blood disorder, tell your paediatric team in case it affects the accuracy of the HbA1c.