sugar, also called hyperglycemia, occurs when the sugar (glucose) level in the
blood rises above normal. For a person who has
diabetes, high blood sugar may be caused by missed
diabetes medicine or insulin injection, eating too much, skipping physical
activity, or illness or stress. The rapid growth during the teen years can also
make it harder to keep your child's blood sugar levels within a target
blood sugar, high blood sugar usually develops slowly over a period of hours or
days. But it can also develop quickly (in just a few hours) if you eat a large
meal or miss an insulin dose. Blood sugar levels just above the target range may
make a person feel tired and thirsty. If your child's blood sugar level stays
higher than normal, his or her body will adjust to that level. Over time, high
blood sugar damages the eyes, heart, kidneys, blood vessels, and nerves. If
your child's blood sugar continues to rise, his or her kidneys will increase
the amount of urine produced and your child can become dehydrated. If your
child becomes severely dehydrated, he or she can go into a coma and possibly
Unless you or your child fails to notice the symptoms, you
usually have time to treat high blood sugar so that it doesn't become an
emergency situation. Three steps can help you prevent high blood sugar
- Test your child's blood sugar often, especially
during illnesses or when he or she is not following a normal routine. A child
may not have symptoms of high blood sugar, which are fatigue and increased
thirst and urination.
- Notify the doctor if your child has frequent
high blood sugar levels or the blood sugar level is consistently staying above
the target range. The medicine or insulin dosage may need to be adjusted or
- Encourage your child to drink extra water or
noncaffeinated, sugar-free drinks to prevent dehydration.
What are high blood sugar emergencies?
Why should high blood sugar be prevented?
How can you prevent high blood sugar?
Where to go from here
More information about diabetes in children can be found
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