What Is the Normal Neutrophil Count for a Child?

The normal absolute neutrophil count, or ANC, for a child is 1500 or greater, according to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Low ANC is called neutropenia. ANC counts between 500-1500 are in the moderate range, while children with ANC counts lower than 500 may need to be isolated for their protection.

Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell created in bone marrow and used by the body to help fight infection, according to WebMD. Low ANC may be caused by a number of conditions, such as problems producing bone marrow, destruction of neutrophils outside of bone marrow, infection, leukemia, nutritional deficiency, radiation or chemotherapy. Neutropenia may also be caused by auto-immune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, or by infections such as tuberculosis, dengue fever and other viral infections.

Individuals with neutropenia are advised to take extra steps to avoid infection, states WebMD. Such precautions include frequent hand washing, avoiding contact with sick people, avoiding animal waste or children’s dirty diapers, and staying out of rivers, ponds and hot tubs. These individuals should also avoid unpasteurized dairy products, undercooked meat, and raw fruits and vegetables. Treatment for neutropenia is focused on treating the underlying cause, and varies based on the severity and the cause.