Taking Care of Young Children with Diabetes

Seeing a loved one experience discomfort is always difficult—but to see a young child be diagnosed with a lifelong condition is even harder. For parents learning their child has type 1 diabetes, the news can be crushing, but it doesn’t have to be. While type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition, advances in treatment options have made managing it easier than ever before. 

Image of a child with type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes.

Treatment Options for Children with Type 1 Diabetes

Creating a management plan is essential to staying on track with type 1 diabetes treatment. Talking to an endocrinologist can help you put together the right treatment options, dosage schedule, and healthy diet that will help with blood sugar levels. 

Stay on Schedule

Making sure that your child receives their insulin treatment every day at the same time is key. Not only will this make their insulin levels more consistent, but it will also teach them good habits of managing diabetes in the future. Additionally, teaching your child early how to manage their own symptoms will help them in the event you’re not present to help with treatment (i.e., while they’re at a friend’s house or an extra-curricular activity). If they can tell the responsible adult who is with them what to do, then treatment will not be delayed. 

Pack and Play

Making sure your child eats healthy and nutritious food is also important. Because you’re not always able to choose what your child has for lunch at school, it’s a good idea to pack snacks and lunches full of foods that they like to eat. While candy and sugary snacks may get passed around, ensuring they have things they like to eat will increase the likelihood that they’ll stick to what they have. Another way to keep your child on track with their lunches is to include a fun element to their lunch. Maybe it’s including a handwritten note from you, or maybe include fun lunchbox games and trivia that make their lunch stand out from their friends—in a good way.

Make Time for Fun

Diet and exercise frequently go hand-in-hand, and managing type 1 diabetes is no different. Taking time out of each day to play—indoors or out—is an excellent form of exercise. If your child is involved in an after-school sport, even better! Because many school systems only have time for gym class once a week, relying on gym class alone to give enough physical activity isn’t a good idea. Always be sure your child has a monitor and a snack just in case. And be sure there is someone on hand who can help your child with treatment if you’re unavailable. 

Growing Up with Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes doesn’t have to make your child feel like they’re different. Treatment options are convenient and make managing insulin quick and easy. If you’re looking for some more tips on how to help your child manage their type 1 diabetes, or if you’d like to talk to a medical professional about the symptoms of diabetes, call 440-934-8810 or contact Westshore online to make an appointment with an Avon physician today. 

Dr. James Myers, M.D.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational purposes only. It does not replace medical care from a licensed physician. If you have a medical concern, please contact your doctor. 

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