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The daily care for your child with type 1 diabetes can seem overwhelming, leading to conflicts between you and your child. Here are some tips that may help:

Make mealtimes less stressful

Mealtimes can become a battleground when you want your child to get a certain amount of carbohydrate. You can:

  • Meet regularly with a registered dietitian. A registered dietitian can help set up a flexible meal plan to meet your child's appetite needs and allow for special events, such as parties and school activities. Some tips for mealtimes with young children include having alternative meal choices.
  • Use rapid-acting insulin so you can give the insulin dose after a meal based on what your child ate.
  • Count carbohydrate.
    Diabetes: Counting Carbs if You Use Insulin

Make giving insulin less difficult

Your child may take several insulin injections each day or use an insulin pump. If you need help with giving the shots, see:

Diabetes in Children: Giving Insulin Shots to a Child.

Keep monitoring reasonable

If you test several times a day (before breakfast, with meals, and at bedtime), you can tell how well your child's blood sugar levels stay within a target range. You need to test more often when your child is sick. Follow the sick-day guidelines that you and your child's doctor set up, or call for help. Do not give your child nonprescription medicines without talking with the doctor.

Diabetes in Children: Checking Blood Sugar in a Child

Encourage physical activity

Experts recommend that teens and children (starting at age 6) do moderate to vigorous activity at least 1 hour every day.1 And 3 or more days a week, what they choose to do should:

  • Make them breathe harder and make the heart beat much faster.
  • Make their muscles stronger. For example, they could play on playground equipment, play tug-of-war, lift weights, or use resistance bands.
  • Make their bones stronger. For example, they could run, do hopscotch, jump rope, or play basketball or tennis.

It’s okay for them to be active in smaller blocks of time that add up to 1 hour or more each day.

Children with type 1 diabetes can participate in sports just like children without diabetes. But children who use insulin are at risk for low blood sugars during and after exercise. Some tips for exercising safely for your child with type 1 diabetes can help prevent low blood sugar levels.

If your child has a tendency to be inactive, you may need to:

  • Limit his or her time playing video games, watching TV, or using the computer. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to limit TV time to 2 hours a day or less.
  • Plan some activities to do along with your child, such as skating or bicycling.

Catch the ups and downs


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 07, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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