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Children and Diabetes

Kid eating candy

My child has diabetes what can I do?

It is difficult for any parent to have a child unwell. It is but natural to feel anxious and stressed upon your child being diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. However, with all the advancements in medical science, Diabetes in children can managed easily, without affecting their quality of life.

The majority of children are generally detected with Type 1 Diabetes, which is commonly known as Juvenile Diabetes. In this condition, the body does not produce insulin at all and requires Insulin from external sources in order to carry out vital living functions.

Children living with Type 2 Diabetes tend to produce insufficient Insulin or the receptors in the pancreatic cells malfunction, leading to high blood glucose levels in the child’s body.

 

Here’s what you can do as parents to help your child manage his condition.

  • Work together as a parental team
    • Research suggests that while you and your spouse may think differently and do the same things, but in a different manner; in order to avoid mismanagement of the child’s care, it is a good idea to align your approach to your partner’s.
  • Monitor blood glucose levels
    • Parents generally tend to worry or get anxious about testing their child’s blood sugar levels. Pricking a finger for the blood test can be painful, not only physically for the child but also emotionally for the parent. However, it is advisable not to take this test lightly and follow a routine to check the child’s blood sugar levels.
      Your doctor and the paediatric diabetes team will give you a blood glucose meter, with which you can check your child’s blood sugar levels. Normally, there is a variety available and your diabetes care team will help you and your child makes the right choice.
      Your meter comes with a finger-pricking device and an initial supply of lancets (to take a drop of blood from the finger) and testing strips (to apply a drop of blood to, in order to get the result). Your diabetes team will also explain how to painlessly prick the finger without leaving scars.
  • Give Insulin as prescribed
    • Children with Type 1 Diabetes must be given Insulin on time as part of their treatment plan. Insulin is the only medicine that can keep their blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
      By giving the prescribed dose of Insulin, your child’s body will be able to convert glucose into energy. When glucose is being used by the body properly, its level in the blood generally remains within a healthy range.
      Unless they are using an Insulin Pump, most children require two or more injections every day to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Usually, they inject a combination of different types of Insulin to handle the sugar levels. Your doctor can guide you in the dosage and frequency of medication.
  • Ensure healthy eating habits
    • A healthy eating habit is the key for successful Diabetes management in children. Without planned diet and healthy eating, one cannot manage sugar levels in the child’s body. For Type 1 Diabetes (Insulin-dependent) one has to provide adequate diet and nutrition to the child in order to prevent low blood sugar levels.
  • Keep school/friends/ family in formed
    • There are times when you or your partner may not be near the child. Let this not be a reason for any lack in how your child’s Diabetes is being managed. You should inform the school authorities, especially the teacher and the nurse in the school infirmary, that your child is living with Diabetes. Similarly, you should also inform friends and family so that they can help the child in treatment compliance.
  • Supplies you need to provide in school:
    • At school, kids might need:
      • Blood sugar levels checking device
      • Insulin or other diabetes medications
      • Snacks ( at least 2) plus Lunch
      • Water bottle
      • Candies to counter low blood sugar episodes
  • Consult your doctor and switch to new techniques.
    • With the rapid advancement in medical science, new treatments and technologies are developing rapidly. As parents you may need to regularly check with the doctors for new techniques in Diabetes management to ensure a healthy life for your child. Case in point: After the doctor’s recommendation, some children with Type 1 Diabetes have switched to insulin pumps to ensure smooth functioning of their biological systems.
      Parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes may soon be able to sleep more soundly, thanks to new research aimed at predicting and preventing dangerously low blood sugar levels at night. You may want to consult your doctor to find which device is apt for your child’s condition.
      Previous attempts at alerting diabetics while they slept included glucose sensors that triggered an alarm when levels dropped too low. However, people often slept through the alarms. As the new system is fully automated, it works while people are asleep.
  • Let your child enjoy life, even while growing up with Diabetes
    • We understand sometimes medicine compliance and treatment can get overwhelming, but please remember, your stress and anxiety will find a way to transfer itself to the child. It is, therefore, a good idea to take up fun physical activities with your child, not just for a workout but also for de-stressing your child and yourself. This is also a good way to introduce a healthy lifestyle to your child living with Diabetes.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes