sugar occurs when the sugar (glucose) level in the
blood rises above normal. It is also called hyperglycemia. If your child has
diabetes, high blood sugar may be caused by missing a dose of
diabetes medicine or insulin. It may also be caused by eating too much, skipping exercise, or being ill or stressed. Fast growth during the teen years can also
make it harder to keep your child's blood sugar levels in his or her target
blood sugar, high blood sugar usually happens slowly over hours or
days. But it can also happen quickly (in just a few hours) if your child eats a large
meal or misses an insulin dose.
Blood sugar levels 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. If
your child's blood sugar keeps rising, the kidneys will make more urine and your child can get dehydrated. Severe dehydration can be life-threatening. Over time, high
blood sugar can damage the eyes, heart, kidneys, blood vessels, and nerves.
Watch for symptoms of high blood sugar. Symptoms include feeling very tired or thirsty and urinating more often than usual. As long as you or your child notices the symptoms, you
will probably have time to treat high blood sugar so that it doesn't become an
emergency. Three steps can help you prevent high blood sugar
- Test your child's blood sugar often, especially
if your child is sick or when he or she is not following a normal routine. A child
may not have symptoms of high blood sugar. Testing lets you see when your child's blood
sugar is above his or her target range, even if your child doesn't have symptoms.
- Call the doctor if your child often has high blood sugar levels or if the blood sugar level is often staying above
his or her target range. The medicine or insulin dosage may need to be adjusted or
- Encourage your child to drink extra water or
drinks that don't have caffeine or sugar. Getting more fluids can help prevent dehydration.
How can you prevent high blood sugar?