Managing Type 1 Diabetes in Children

July 15, 2012 0 Comments

Type 1 diabetes, a kind of diabetes where the pancreas does not produce any insulin, is often diagnosed in children and young adults. The role of parents in managing type 1 diabetes varies depending on the age of the child. The younger the type 1 child is the greater is the role of the parents in managing the child’s diabetes. The goal is for the parents to teach a type 1 diabetic child to be more self-reliant in his diabetic management as he gets older.

First, parents need to learn everything they can about type 1 diabetes. This includes learning about insulin, its function in the body and its effect on the blood glucose levels of their child. Things like insulin therapy, insulin mode of deliveries, different kinds of insulin and daily blood glucose monitoring are very important to learn and establish. This is particularly true for a young child who may not truly comprehend his or her condition.

Once a child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, his daily life will change forever. Meals and activities have to be carefully planned to maintain blood glucose levels at the target values. Medications have to be incorporated even at school. Parents have to ensure that the school to which their child is going is prepared for diabetes. Insulin therapy means daily multiple injections of insulin either via insulin syringes or other modes and regular blood glucose monitoring, routines that take preparation and planning in terms of associated supplies.

Parents of diabetics have to have ready supplies of lancets for pricking fingers during blood glucose checks, glucose test strips and glucose meter. Supplies also include alcohol swabs, glucose control solution and even emergency supplies of glucose tablet and glucagon for extreme dips in the blood glucose levels.

Meal planning requires coordination with the child’s health care providers. Even snacks need planning. Ordinary snack foods are often sugar laden and can cause huge swings in diabetic children’s blood glucose levels. Food portion sizes are also controlled, even for snacks so us not to overwhelm the body with an influx of glucose.

When traveling; parents accompanying diabetic children have to ensure they carry with them necessary medication and associated supplies. Diabetic carrying cases are often used to carry supplies of insulin, insulin syringes, swabs, glucose test strips and many more.

When diabetic children are sick, parents need more than ever to watch their blood glucose levels. Sickness can cause blood glucose level to change drastically even ordinary sickness such as colds. It is also important that aside from the parents, all care providers who deal with the child must be trained to give him diabetic care. This includes nannies, family members and relatives who are around the child often.

Managing type 1 diabetes in children may seem difficult and burdensome at first but a lot of parents are able to do it successfully. Type 1 diabetes should never prevent a child from enjoying a normal childhood. This largely depends on the vigilance and care of the adults around him.

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