Testing & Diagnosis for Type 1 Diabetes in Children

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At Children’s Hospital Boston, we know that the first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis.

Your child’s extreme thirst and frequent urination can often be a clue. To confirm a diagnosis, her doctor may order blood and urine tests including:

  • glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test: This blood test indicates average blood sugar level for the past two to three months.

  • random blood sugar test: A blood sample is taken at a random time.

  • fasting blood sugar test: A blood sample is taken after an overnight fast.

  • To distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, your child’s doctor may also check for autoantibodies in the blood that are common in type 1 diabetes.

  • Boston Children’s diabetes team also tests for the presence of ketones (byproducts from the breakdown of fat in children without enough insulin) in the urine or blood. When present, ketones also suggest that the child has type 1 diabetes.

Since test results should be confirmed with a second test on a different day, it’s likely that your child will have blood drawn more than once.

Is it diabetes?

Your child will be diagnosed with diabetes if her:

  • blood glucose is higher than 126 mg/dL first thing in the morning before eating or drinking for at least eight hours


  • blood glucose is greater than 200 mg/dL (more than once) after a meal or snack
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944