Normal blood sugar in a child

My 3 yo pricked herself with a needle yesterday - drawing blood. I decided to test her bs seeing it as an opportunity. So her bs was 109. She had eaten before that.

Is 109 REALLY ok for a child? I know it's not terrible (and is within the accepted test range for 'normal'), but I thought from Bernstein that truely normal people don't usually go over 100 and their bs is usually very tightly controlled.

Am kind of having a minor freak that I'm going to need to be watching her closely and her diet.

She has celiac and asthma, so far. I do have request for blood tests for her (for CBC, iron, b levels, etc to check if there is any ongoing obvious malabsorption) and am thinking of adding in an A1C.

I do hope I am worrying for nothing. I am going to feel oh so bad if she also got this from me. :( Her father has a family history of type 2. I have no family history of anything diabetes-wise, but am probably LADA or Adult onset type 1 (my opinion from reading, not proven)....

My understanding is that a normal person after a meal could go as high as the high 120's but would get back down to the low 80's fairly quickly. So a 109 could well be absolutely normal, depending on carbs in the meal and time from eating.

Also, important to remember that home BG meters have an "acceptable" error margin of +/- 20%. So a 109 doesn't necessarily mean her BG is 190—it could actually range anywhere from 89 to 129.

I think studies have shown that "normal" people go as high as 140-160 after meals, it's just that they only stay there for, at most, 30 minutes or so before coming down, and their BG is normal again after an hour or two.

One fingerstick really isnt enough data to draw any good conclusions. Its possible yu got lucky and happened to hit a moment when the bg was down. Not likely, but possible.

I would do an A1C, if only to find out she is a beautiful, HEALTHY little critter. :slight_smile: The $20 spent will likely more than pay for itself in peace of mind. And if you do have a problem lurking, you will know early and avoid a dangerous and expensive trip to the ER.

YMMV :slight_smile:

That's perfectly fine after eating. Kids have somewhat lower BG than adults, but 109 is nothing at all to cause concern.

I've tested friends & my husband when he's allowed it. Almost everyone was over 100 after meals (highest was 123 after some serious carbs), but they came down to 80's very quickly.

Again, there is still a lot of missing data, but that 130+ sorta has my attention. If its a rogue number, its just interesting. If it is part of a pattern, it needs additional investigation. Only one way to find out! More data!

Recalibrate the meter and verify it on a non-D that hasnt eaten for a few hiurs. Now feed your daughter a normal early dinner. Test her around bedtime, then test her around 2 am (to get away from any possible dawn effect or cortisol awakening response). Test again immediately on wakening. If any two of those numbers is over 120-ish, I would promptly put this thing into the lap of a qualified doctor for further investigation. (Remember: lots of us “expert-sounding”) people are just wanna-be D-hacks. On our best day we make for exceedingly poor doctors! Hehehe. Dont trust your childs health to the internet. Get professional advice).

Here is to hoping you just wasted some test strips, a little sleep, and some grey hairs. :)) My bet is she is fine, but it never hurts to double-check!

I would definitely do more testing and then have her evaluated if it looks off. A lower carb diet is a good idea since if she does end up having D, hope not, then it will be less of a hardship for her later in life to lower her carb intake if she needs to.

Does your five year old daughter have any other indicators of diabetes? I would not subject my 5 year old to finger prick tests unless they were necessary - meaning she was diagnosed with diabetes. A child is curious of course but this is a rather invasive curiosity and I would not accommodate it. I am with Roark on the suggestion to Get professional advice.

I agree and I think it is always better to know what is going on if you're worried, fingers sticks can help you figure this out and aren't that bad to endure here and there. If you can do anything to prevent her having D, or to avoid a disaster you need to do that. I think the main thing with D is that non D people always go back to normal(80-90) two hours after a meal unless some other health issue is going on.

Nothing here seems particularly out of whack to me. Those numbers are not high, but there is no harm in getting a consult and having a pro put his eyes on the data. And the more data you can give him, the better.

One thing that bears repeating: you are not using an analytical-grade test kit. That kit could be off 15 or 20 points and making it look like a problem exists when there isnt one. (Which is why I like to use a non-D for a sanity check.)

Run the A1C. Its cheap entertainment, and will give you another (non lab-grade!) point of reference. If its normal, and the doc agrees, then hoist a glass and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Its rare to find someone looking for trouble. Most of us parents of a pediatric D are guily of the opposite crime, ie, denial.

Whatever the answer ultimately is, Junior has a darned good Mommy, and we salute you.

Hi Super_sally,

What a painful concern for a mom! I'm hoping for you that it turns out fine!

I know you are very knowledgeable about your own diabetes and very thorough and that you'll find the answers about this.

Wishing you and your daughter the very best!


Glucose values in healthy people vary a lot, in 2007 a paper found this:

You're making a mountain out of a mole hill. Her numbers are perfectly fine and normal for a non-D child, even if you have a reading in the 130s. The meter you use is inaccurate, you're not using a lab quality unit nor venous draw samples. People naturally swing outside of the normal range of 80-120(90-130 with the current generation of meters really, higher depending on many variables such as meds and even oxygen levels), without being considered Diabetic or even Pre-Diabetic. Blood glucose levels do not stay 100% lab parameter range all of the time. There are fluctuations in normal healthy people. Even down to where they run, high or low end of the lab normal range. The fasting numbers you're seeing in the morning is her liver preparing her for the day, so she has energy to wake up and get going - again, they are normal.

You should consult with her pediatrician, but he/she will assure you everything is fine. Even if there is a BG of 300 on your meter, a doctor will not pay heed to the parent's meter unless there are other symptoms present. Maybe you can talk them into doing a urine to check if any glucose is spilling into the urine, depending on the results(positive presence above a certain range), they might test further. They might proceed with a blood draw for A1C and a glucose tolerance test. If it spikes and then returns to normal on a glucose tolerance test, a person is still not considered Pre-Diabetic. However some people can have a serious problem with the test, even without problems with BG normally - the amount of glucose given can make a normal person spike and crash dangerously low, so it's not recommended for children usually. If BG levels spike and remain elevated, then there is an issue, but if it returns to lab normal there is not. Doctors are not going to believe you period with the numbers you're seeing, especially since the meter you use is inaccurate(all of them are). Doctors let children with Diabetes run higher because of the danger of brain and nerve damage from lows.

Really, the only way to track whether she might become Diabetic or not is to watch C-peptide levels, and IgG and IgM antibodies against insulin, not testing BG at home. Chances are you will not find a Doc willing to put a child through unnecessary testing, you have to have a valid reason. Giving blood glucose lowing meds if not indicated can expedite the process of turning to full Diabetic, that is why Docs are conservative and wait to start them. All you can do is make sure she learns how to eat right, and make sure she does stay away from wheat at all costs, especially the hidden stuff.

Those are all good numbers. I would work on hugs and making snow angels rather than any more tests. This sounds like a gloriously healthy child. You are blessed! Enjoy it! :))

Hi Super_sally,

Thanks so much for the update! I'm glad you have an appointment with a pediatric endo! I hope that the news is good! You are clearly an educated, intelligent and proactive person! You aren't being over concerned given your own diabetes, you are being careful!

Best wishes for good news!


Super_Sally,I know you are a good mommy and KNOW your children. That is a rather high post-prandial in a NON_d person. I know you will keep good records of her Post-prandials.. This may be the "telling" data when you take her to the endo; particularly with her history of allergies, and most importantly, of Celiac, an auto-immune disorder :I do truly understand your concern and I do not think you are over-reacting at all. With your intelligence, informed advocacy and particularly with the higher than normal post prandials, there are strong reasons for further testings. You are informed, intelligent, and concerned. Praying that whatever the outcome with your little one, she and you, with God's grace and mercy, will be able to handle it just fine.

God bless,

Oh my… I’m sorry. I hope she is ok. I know how awful I feel when I see that number for myself. It must be terrible to see that for your daughter. Let us know how she is doing. Did you ask her doctor about this?

Good work, Sally; sounds like you have a good doctor and are finding a good balance together between under and over reacting!

Hi Sally, I'm sorry to address this so late, but I think something really needs to be clarified here.

Yes, there is a lot of variability, particularly after eating, but the average nighttime is about 81+/- 6, ie. in the 80s and daytime 93+/- 7 (ie. 100 or less).

These results are reported as Mean +/- Standard Deviation, so 81 +/- 6 does not equate to a BG that never gets out of the 80s nor does 93 +/- 7 equate to a BG that never goes above 100.

What the data say is that 68% of the reported BGs in the nighttime will fall between 75 and 87. 95% of the reported BGs will fall between 69 and 92. 99% of the reported BGs in the nighttime will fall between 63 and 98.

Similarely, in the day, 68% of the reported BGs will fall between 86 and 100, 95% of reported BGs will fall between 79 and 107, and 99% of the reported BGs will fall between 72 and 114. There will, of course, be outlyers that fall outside of 3 Standard Deviations from the mean.

Another thing to consider is that BGs are hardly normally distributed such that Mean plus Standard Deviation can accurately and precisely describe the distribution. It would have been better just to graph the BGs as data points on an XY line graph to get a better idea of the range.

I'm not saying you have nothing to concern yourself with. I'm just pointing out that interpreting data can be tricky. The bottom line is that there is a ton of variability in BGs for normal humans.