Tips for Treating Children with Diabetes
When your child is diagnosed with diabetes, it can feel overwhelming.
While there’s no cure for type 1 diabetes, with attentive management and a healthy lifestyle, your child can look and feel healthy and go on to live a productive life.
As a first step after diagnosis and consulting a trusted doctor, caretakers can focus on designing a custom diabetes management plan that takes into account their child’s activity levels, diet, blood sugar monitoring practices and insulin program.
In addition to taking precautions like making sure your child wears a medical identification bracelet, the areas listed below deserve extra attention as you support your child in leading a healthy lifestyle with diabetes.
Activity: Regular exercise helps control blood sugar levels, stimulates blood circulation and can reduce the risk of other chronic illnesses. Commit to supporting regular physical activity in your child’s life — 60 minutes per day is a good goal. Regular activity can also help your child feel like they can do everything kids without diabetes can do, and keep their heart, lungs and blood vessels healthy and strong.
Diet: Eat a healthy, varied and balanced diet and eat meals at regular times every day. A meal plan will help you balance the type and timing of meals with your child’s age, activity level, schedule and your child’s likes and dislikes.
Monitoring: Check blood sugar levels as recommended by your doctor, with a goal of checking at least four times per day.
Insulin: Children with type 1 diabetes require insulin. Thanks to today’s modern insulin pumps and smaller injection needles, insulin injections are nearly painless. Support your child by ensuring they take insulin as prescribed to balance blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes, once most commonly associated with adults, is now more and more prevalent among children due to the obesity epidemic. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes doesn’t always require insulin medication and can be controlled with non-insulin medication, weight reduction and dietary changes.
An effective treatment plan can control both types of diabetes. A great treatment plan can support normal physical and emotional development and can prevent short- and long-term health problems.