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Diabetes in children

Diabetes in children
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If your child has been diagnosed with diabetes then you may be overwhelmed with questions as well as being anxious with worries. These feelings are perfectly normal but there’s no point in worrying yourself over something that there are answers out there for.

Gathering as much information as possible will help you deal with the challenges the condition may present and reassure you over any concerns you might have. There is plenty of help and support out there for families living with diabetes and you’ll have regular access to them so make the most of what is available and don’t be shy in asking questions.

Diabetes care teams

Soon after diagnosis you and your child should be referred to a diabetes care team. Depending on the needs of your child, this care can be provided either in hospital or in your own home. If your child has to go into hospital there should be facilities for you to stay with her. The care team will teach you about the condition and talk you through the challenges you may face in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. Parents will be taught how to check blood sugar levels using the finger prick test and how to give insulin injections.

Diet

You will also be talked through the family’s diet and shown ways in which your child’s requirements can be introduced into the diet of the whole family. This avoids the child being left feeling different at mealtimes and means you don’t have to do extra cooking. Your care team should also get in touch with your child’s school or nursery to explain what needs have to be met.

Adjusting

Diabetes in childrenIn the early days, you may wish to see a specialist psychologist to help the child come to terms with having diabetes. Once the news of the diagnosis has sunk in, your child will start to accept the condition but support is still available when you need it.  There will be fairly regular visits to the care team, who will also be on hand via telephone or email if you need any advice. These visits will become less frequent as you and your child settle into routines and become more confident.

By the age of around 12 you will probably only need to see the care team for a comprehensive check up once a year. A 24-hour support line is also available if you need help or advice outside normal working hours. Your family will start to get used to changes in their diet and blood sugar tests and insulin injections will become a part of everyday life.

Involving your child

It’s important that your child understands what is happening and why. Even young children can get involved in their own care by fetching a kit or pinching the skin for an injection. As kids grow older, they should be encouraged to start doing more so that when they fly the nest they are perfectly capable of looking after themselves.

Introduce greater responsibility and awareness gradually and try to make sure they feel comfortable voicing any worries or concerns they may develop as they grow up.

 

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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