The normal white blood cell count for children is between 5,000 and 10,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood. When white blood cells drop below 1,000, the chances of infection increase.
Doctors order white blood cell counts as part of a complete blood count. The test screens for diseases and helps diagnose infections. Also known as leukocytes, white blood cells protect the body from bacteria and viruses. These cells also help with inflammation and protect the body against cancer. Burns, infections and allergic responses may temporarily raise white blood cell counts. Low white blood cell counts, on the other hand, may be caused by conditions such as autoimmune disorders, bone marrow damage or lymphoma.