Managing diabetes
Your diabetic child can learn to handle the challenges of living with the disease.
Involve your child in the management of his disease. Depending on his age let him test himself and give himself the insulin injections. There are glucometers designed for kids and this can help them to come to terms with their illness better.

Involve your child in drawing up menus for himself. The other members of the family could also take part so he does not feel different.

Be open with your child and explain why he or she needs to do certain things and can’t have certain foods. In time they will learn that sugary foods make them feel unwell and will avoid them on their own. Get them reading material such as Diabetes: A Practical Guide to Managing Your Health, which explains in a nice and simple way what is happening to their bodies. Diabetes is a disease which is easily managed and not as scary once you have the right tools to deal with it.

At school

  • Talk to his teacher. She should be aware that your child may need an extra snack in the middle of class if his sugar is low. Also she may have to deal with an injection at school. If the school is not comfortable with your child carrying a needle, suggest that his class teacher keep it and supervise its administration.
  • Be aware what day he has PE on or other sporting activities. It’s important for diabetics to exercise, so provide an extra snack that day to compensate for his low energy levels.
  • On field trip days, eating times may not be at the usual time. Make sure your child is aware that while he can share some of his snacks, his emergency kit is not to be touched.
  • Parties must be the worst nightmare for a mother of a diabetic child. It’s unfair to ask the host to provide sugar free snacks at a party, but if a mother is aware of your child’s problem she probably will compensate. But you shouldn’t rely on that, carry a few diabetic friendly treats with you to give to your child throughout the afternoon.
  • Also a few sugary treats won’t be the end of the world. Don’t deny them all sugary treats, especially at a party. That’s the quickest way to make your child feel like an outcast. Sure, his blood sugar will be up but it’s nothing that insulin can’t fix. This doesn’t mean you should let your child run wild stuffing his face at parties.
  • A high blood sugar level on one day won’t kill your child, if it is consistently high then you have a problem. It should always be between 4 – 7 mmol/l

Parent24 blogger Shazdart and her daughter Jess have made changes such as increased exercising and eating more carefully, to try to keep Jess’s insulin levels from going too high.

Diagnosed with diabetes as a teen

Do you or your child have diabetes? How hard is it to manage?

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