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Type 1 Diabetes: Your Child's Role in Care - Topic Overview

Children with diabetes should participate in their treatment to the extent that is fitting for their age and experience with the disease.

  • Toddlers and preschool-aged children usually aren't able to do tasks for diabetes care such as giving insulin or checking blood sugar. As children get older, they typically cooperate with these tasks.
    • When your child with diabetes begins school (or attends a child care center), you and the staff will work together to build a care plan with instructions for handling your child's special needs.
    • Children can take part in all school activities while still getting the supervision and care that they need.
  • Children in elementary school can cooperate in all tasks required for their care. With maturity and experience, many children—with supervision—can test their blood sugar level.
  • Children in middle school or junior high school should be able to test their own blood sugar level. But they may need help during low blood sugar episodes. Some children can give insulin shots as long as this happens with supervision.
  • Teens should be able to handle their care with appropriate supervision. Teens may choose to use an insulin pump instead of shots. If they choose to use a pump, they still need supervision from adults.
    • Lifelong habits for self-care begin in the teen years. You can work with your child to set goals he or she can reach, such as checking blood sugar more often or eating more healthy foods.
    • Some families work with a counselor, such as a certified diabetes educator (CDE), to make this learning process easier.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: December 04, 2012
    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 or 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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