How to recognize and treat low blood sugar. Your child is not
likely to have a sudden drop in blood sugar level unless he or she is taking
sulfonylurea or meglitinide medicines for diabetes or insulin injections and is
unable to eat regular meals.
medical identification at all times. In an emergency, medical identification
lets people know that your child has diabetes so they can care for your child
Where to get support. Many areas of the country have
support groups for children and teens with diabetes and for family members.
These groups provide encouragement and suggestions that may help you and your
child deal with the daily issues of diabetes care. Talk with your doctor about
groups in your area.
How to care for the feet. Your child needs to
wear shoes that fit properly. He or she should not go barefoot outdoors. It's a good idea to begin the habit of inspecting your child's feet periodically or any time he or she has a foot complaint. Look for signs of injury or infection. If you notice a
foot problem, even a minor one, talk with your doctor before treating
What to do for illness. Some general
sick-day guidelines may be helpful. These include
checking your child's blood sugar every 4 hours during the illness and
encouraging your child to drink fluids to prevent dehydration. Do not give your
nonprescription medicines without talking with a
doctor or pharmacist. Some of these medicines can affect blood sugar
What to think about
Childhood and the teen years
are a difficult time to be diagnosed with diabetes. Normal developmental
changes may interfere with your child following his or her treatment.
Teens with diabetes may rebel against
treatment or participate in risky behavior, such as using drugs or drinking
You play a major role in helping your child become
independent in his or her diabetes care. Allow your child to do as much of the
care as possible. But give your child the support and guidance he or she
needs. Your child will be more successful if your family is physically active and has healthy eating habits.
Children in elementary school can cooperate
in all tasks required for their care. By age 8, children can test their own
blood sugar if they are supervised.
Children in middle school or junior
high school should be able to test their own blood sugar, but they may need
help during low blood sugar episodes. By age 10, some children can give insulin
injections if they are supervised.
With appropriate supervision, teens should be able to handle their
care. If the teen needs to take insulin, he or she
may choose to use an
insulin pump instead of injections. If your teen
chooses to use a pump, be sure to supervise.
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Your level is currently
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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