For staying hale and hearty, kids with diabetes would require life-long treatment. Regardless of the kid’s age, being diagnosed with the condition can be shattering news. Although initially, the kin shoulders responsibility of caring for a diabetic child, but at the right age he/she should be in a position to comprehend the different ways of independently managing his/her condition.
Tips to Teach Diabetes Treatment to a Child
Being vocal about necessary amendments and taking requisite actions to implement them are indispensable steps for successfully treating and managing diabetes.
Seek consultation from a dietician about the kid’s diabetes and take him/her along during the appointment so that he/she can grasp the information. Accordingly, alter the child’s dietary intake and meal schedules by inculcating a healthful food plan & maintaining regularity in timing of snacks and meals. Recent recommendations for diabetic kids are eating trio main meals and 2-3 snacks interspersed throughout the day.
Most importantly, parents must ensure that their diabetic kid sticks to the plan by helping him/her in setting up a chart to keep track of activities. The child should ideally be informed about eating frequently and consuming correct as well as balanced quantity of fibre, proteins and carbs for maintaining stable blood glucose levels.
Joint Planning and Preparation of Meals
Make the child understand the mechanics of consumption and jointly plan meals by taking into consideration the child’s likes or dislikes. Rectify his/her food choices when they appear to hamper therapy course. Suggest alternate healthy choices while explaining the repercussions of making wrong food decisions. Thus, the kid feels that he/she is an active participant in both the therapy as well as the edification process.
To make matters clearer, get the child to accompany you while buying groceries and other essential victual items. The child can be taught about reading labeling on foods and which ones are better options. Regularly following this practice will help to engrain the right groundwork which will help the child in due course.
Rewarding the child for being compliant about established rules will indubitably boost his/her morale. Moreover, ensure that the kid knows that he/she would be allowed to enjoy some of his/her pet treats on special occasions like festivals, birthdays or other public holidays.
Edify about Medications, Crucial Tests and Disease Management Approaches
Diabetic children should be informed about measurement and preparation of the right dose as well as which medicines they are taking and their purposes.
Older kids can be gradually explained about the process of testing their blood glucose levels, manner of using appropriate device and how to comprehend readings as well as keeping tabs on blood sugar levels. Easing the child into independently doing these tasks in the presence of adult supervision is the best approach towards teaching diabetes treatment to juveniles.
Blood Sugar Monitoring
Regular and frequent checking of blood sugar levels is an indispensable part of any diabetic’s life. Glucose meters or glucometers are devices that facilitate this process and help one in scheduling insulin administration. Children wouldn’t be able to discern what their bodies require unless they regularly check their blood sugar levels.
Hence, educating children once they are old enough about the right manner of glucometer usage and deciphering readings is a step forward in helping them to independently manage their condition. Parents can work with their kid’s day-to-day schedule for choosing the most suitable timings to monitor blood glucose and strictly following it.
Nearly all diabetic kids require insulin treatment. At present, most of them use regular day-to-day dose regimens comprising of rapid-acting insulin after dawn and slow-release insulin after dusk. A really small child usually doesn’t require insulin shot during nighttime, though he/she would require it at a latter age.
There’s no definite advisable age among kids for independent insulin administration, though typically at around nine years of age children can be taught about the right manner of self-administering insulin jabs. They are generally injections (special insulin pens) with super-fine needles that are given over the abdominal or thigh areas.
Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (insulin pump) is advised as likely therapy for kids who are twelve years and more. They are small-sized devices that can be donned on waist belts or carried in pockets. The fine tube attaches the pump to a smallish canula inserted subcutaneously for continuous insulin delivery.
Diabetic kids are often faced with duo problems, namely hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) and hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) which are sharp spikes and drops in blood glucose levels. Children should be informed about the varied symptoms related to either of these conditions and the requisite actions to be taken.
The child should know which types of food or drink must be constantly carried with him/her to counteract any unanticipated attacks. Chart out a salvage plan for the child, particularly during scenarios when parental presence is not possible. For instance, parents could provide glucose tablets, morning-afternoon snacks for children during school hours.
Children that check their blood sugar during school hours can be provided with glucometers which can be kept in the classroom along with the other necessary items like lancet, lancing device and disposable containers. Parents must inform the child’s teachers and peers about diabetes and treatment so that he/she is permitted to visit the loo at will, drink and eat any beverage or foods when there is a sharp peak or drop in blood sugar levels.
Encourage Active Existence
Exercising is vital for a diabetic kid as it assists the body in using blood glucose and maintaining a healthy and safe range. Physical activity can additionally affect the amount of food that the kid eats.
Hence, a diabetic kid must be informed about eating additional foods like juices, some form of carbs or breads prior to engaging in any physically taxing activity. The kid must also ensure carrying some form of sugar at all times for counteracting hypoglycemia if he/she is taking insulin and exercising a lot.
Word for Thought
Despite being the most edifying and informative parents to your children, avoid expecting that he/she will totally comprehend diabetes, which can be a complex condition. Most significantly, every diabetic kid must know that there is an invariable connection between his/her dietary consumption and the insulin dosage he/she has administered or requires & what exactly hypoglycemia/hyperglycemia feels like. Successful juvenile diabetes management entails the meticulous balance between diet, insulin, medications and physical activity.