If your child’s blood sugar gets too high, they’ll need to drink water, take an insulin shot, or exercise.
If they drop too low, they’ll need some fruit juice, hard candy, or glucose tablets.
Your child should have a kit with them at all times. It should include insulin and needles, contact numbers, extra batteries for a meter or pump, test strips and lancets, and a quick-acting source of glucose (like glucose tablets).
They should wear a medical ID at all times that lets people know they have type 1 diabetes.
Tell people about your child’s diabetes. You can’t be with your child at all times. School principals, nurses, coaches, babysitters, neighbors — all need to be informed. Make sure they know what to do in case of an emergency. And make sure they know where to find the emergency kit.
Dealing with a chronic condition that needs to be monitored at all times is a lot for your kid to take on. Along with blood sugar levels, you’ll need to pay attention to your child’s feelings, too. At times, they may feel worried, overwhelmed, and even depressed. Many families find getting a mental health expert involved early on helps.
As your child gets older, you may notice their levels change. And what worked before doesn’t anymore. Hormones and puberty can have an impact. Work with their doctor to keep levels where they need to be. As your child gets older, they’ll learn to manage their diabetes on their own.
When your child gets old enough to drive, they should understand their added responsibilities around driving. Along with taking every other safety precaution, they need to make sure their levels are good before taking the wheel. They’ll need to check them every time and make sure they bring their kit with them.
Your teen also needs to know that alcohol can have dangerous effects on glucose levels. It can make it hard to recognize signs that they’re off and can lead to poor decision-making about correcting levels.