A positive diagnosis of diabetes in children can lead to various reactions for both the parents and the child. There can be fear, denial, shock, anger, or a combination of them all. Diabetes in kids—if not properly managed—is potentially life-threatening. It is a condition that makes the body loose the ability to produce insulin or, basically, produces and uses insulin less efficiently. Making a proper plan for managing your kid’s diabetes makes the whole situation much more effortless. Your pediatrician can help you draw up a management plan. But here are five key components that you must include in your kids diabetes management plan.
Blood Sugar Checks
It is essential to frequently check your child’s blood sugar level (Also referred to as blood glucose level). Besides helping you manage the blood sugar levels, regular blood sugar checks help you be more in control of the situation. You can anticipate problems and troubleshoot them as soon as they appear. It is equally important to frequently do Glycosylated Hemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c or HbA1c) and Ketones tests to ensure that everything is in order and avoid any sudden scares.
Keep a detailed record of your kid’s blood sugar each day. This will come in handy when deciding when and how often to test. Standard practice is to test before meals and at bedtime. But more testing might be necessary with a glucometer if they are sick or there is any change in their daily habits. Therefore, testing might be uncomfortable for both you and your child-especially if they are young. But it is important, so do not skip testing.
Insulin therapy helps eliminate ketosis and hyperglycemia through the prevention of chronic complications. It is a must in your kid’s diabetes management plan as it is the mainstay of type 1 diabetes treatment. Insulin helps replace the deficient hormone and allows the body to attain normoglycemia. If your child is going to any child care program or school, the staff must be trained on insulin administration and management to ensure their safety while in school.
Proper Diet Plans
Children with diabetes get a lot of benefits from a properly planned healthy diet. You are responsible for ensuring that your child gets healthy food choices – both inside and outside your home.
Although kids do not need a special diet like grown-ups with diabetes, they need a healthy diet that helps with overall good health with normal growth rate and healthy weight. Going a gluten-free route is one of the best ways to help diabetic kids avoid damages caused by eating little gluten.
Remember to keep track of carbohydrates intake as this should balance with their insulin and exercise to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Regular simple exercises are highly beneficial to children with type 1 diabetes. Exercise and proper carbohydrates management help insulin helps to keep blood glucose levels in a healthier range.
Other than managing the blood glucose levels, exercise helps your child to control weight, lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, etc. That said, it is crucial to ensure that your child’s diabetes management plan includes daily moderate exercises.
It is advisable to control the level of activity to avoid complications. So, discuss and plan with your kid’s secondary caregivers such as early childhood educators to ensure a proper / simple workout monitoring plan is implemented.
Inform the community
It is important to discuss with the community and especially the child’s secondary caregivers immediately you find out that your child has diabetes. For example, schools are responsible for the child’s safety while in school. Therefore, the school must be given all the necessary information they need to support the child’s diabetes management when in school.
Remember that both you and your child will need time to adjust to the whole schedule. But an adequately drawn diabetes management plan reduces stress levels that as associated with proper management of diabetes patients. So draw a diabetes management plan today and help your child lead a long healthy life.
I’m a type 1 diabetic with diabetes knowledge in t1d and t2d, as well as nutrition and low-carb keto diet information, fitness and exercise programs to help keep you in optimal diabetes health. Take advantage of our diabetic health tools for a healthier lifestyle!