Type 1 Diabetes: What you need to know about treating children with Diabetes
by Cole Pediatric
At Cole Pediatric Therapy, we understand that the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes in a child you love stirs up a bundle of emotions: shock, fear, sadness, anger, confusion and uncertainty. It is an extremely stressful time for a family. You have a great deal to learn right away and many questions. Yet you have to also try to stay calm and focused for the sake of your child.
Learning of this new diagnosis can be overwhelming at first. Suddenly, you and your child — depending on his or her age — must learn how to give injections, count carbohydrates and monitor blood sugar.
There’s nothing you or your child could have done to prevent Type 1 Diabetes as there is currently no known prevention tactics.
Although Type 1 Diabetes in children requires consistent care, advances in blood sugar monitoring and insulin delivery have improved the daily management of the disease in children.
Common indicators of undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes:
Children may show all or none of these
- Increased thirst and frequent urination.
- Extreme hunger.
- Weight loss.
- Irritability or unusual behavior.
- Blurred vision.
- Yeast infection.
Type 1 Diabetes can affect nearly every major organ in your child’s body, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. The good news is that keeping your child’s blood sugar level close to normal most of the time can dramatically reduce the risk of these complications.
Long-term complications of Type 1 Diabetes develop gradually. Eventually, if blood sugar levels aren’t well controlled, Diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening.
School and Diabetes
Along with at-home care, you’ll also need to work with your child’s school nurse and teachers to make sure they know what the symptoms of high and low blood sugar levels are, and in some cases, the school nurse may need to administer insulin or check your child’s blood sugar levels. Federal law protects children with Diabetes, and schools must make reasonable accommodations to ensure that all children get a proper education.
Good Diabetes management requires a lot of time and effort, especially in the beginning. Above all, stay positive. The habits you teach your child today will help him or her enjoy an active and healthy life with type 1 diabetes.
Your child’s emotions
Diabetes can affect your child’s emotions both directly and indirectly. Poorly controlled blood sugar can directly affect his or her emotions by causing behavior changes, such as irritability.
Another way Diabetes can take a toll on your child’s emotions is by making him or her feel different from other kids. Most of the time, children don’t want to be different, and having to draw blood and give themselves shots definitely sets kids with Diabetes apart from their peers. Getting your child together with other children who have Diabetes may help make your child feel less alone.
Talking to a counselor or therapist may help your child or you to cope with the dramatic lifestyle changes that come with a Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis. Your child may find encouragement and understanding in a support group for children. Such support groups can be good resources for information. If you’re interested, your doctor may be able to recommend a group in your area.
Www.mayoclinic.com/…/type-1-diabetes. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012.