Type 1 Diabetes: Children Living With the Disease - Treatment Overview
The goal of your child's treatment
type 1 diabetes is to always keep his or her blood
sugar levels within a
target range. A target range reduces
the chance of diabetes complications. Daily diabetes care and regular medical
checkups will help you and your child accomplish this goal.
Your child's daily care
Some problems you may encounter include:
- Changing appetite and "picky eating." A
registered dietitian can help you build a flexible
meal plan to meet your child's appetite needs and allow for special events,
such as parties and school activities. If you use rapid-acting insulin, you can
give the insulin dose after a meal based on what your child ate. Some
tips for mealtimes with young children include having alternative meal
- Illness. Work with your doctor to set up sick-day guidelines for your child. These help you prevent high blood sugar emergencies when your child is ill. Talk
with the doctor before giving your child any nonprescription medicine.
- Exercise. If your child is not very active, limit his or her
time playing video games, watching TV, or using the computer. Plan some
activities to do along with your child, such as in-line skating or bicycling.
Use these tips for exercising safely to help prevent low blood sugar in your child.
You will also want to:
- Always have your child wear medical identification to let
medical personnel know that he or she has diabetes. You can buy
medical identification bracelets , necklaces, or other forms of jewelry at a
pharmacy or on the Internet. Temporary medical identification tattoos are another form of medical identification.
- Teach your child about good foot care. Foot problems are rare in children who have diabetes. But adults can have foot problems, especially with diabetic neuropathy. Teach your child the importance of wearing shoes that fit properly.
Check your child's feet if he or she has signs of injury or infection. Teach your child to get in the habit of washing and drying feet thoroughly. If you notice a foot problem, even a
minor one, talk with your child's doctor before treating it.
- Keep your child's day care or school plan for diabetes care up
to date. Have written instructions for your babysitter and other caregivers.
- Diabetes in Children: Preparing a Care Plan for School
- Help your child care for his or her
teeth and gums. Make sure your child has a dental
checkup every 6 months.
- Keep your child's immunizations up to date. This includes a
flu shot every year.
- Participate in a support group for parents of children who have
diabetes. These groups can be very helpful, especially the first few years
after diagnosis. Local groups are available in most areas.
- Encourage your child to attend camps for children who have diabetes. Diabetes camps are a good learning experience for your child, and
they will allow you some time to yourself.
- Allow your
child who has diabetes to help with the treatment, given
his or her age and experience with the disease.