Tips to help your child manage diabetes

133978981Managing your child’s diabetes can be a challenge, but Dr. Michael B. Foster, specialist with UofL Physicians – Pediatric Endocrinology, says it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Here are some of his tips on how to make it easier:

  1. Be careful not to over-react to blood sugars that fall outside of the target range. Remember that your fear about future problems related to inadequate blood sugar control will look and feel like anger to your child. Avoid phrases such as “bad blood sugar” if what you mean is a blood sugar that is above the target range.
  2. Support your child in participating in a full range of age-appropriate activities. Make the diabetes fit the lifestyle you and your child choose.
  3. Find time to check in with your child about diabetes management in a developmentally appropriate way. But, make sure that you engage with non-diabetes issues as well, as you do with your other children.
  4. See the health care team regularly – at least four times a year.
  5. Stay positive with your child. Stress the things that your youngster is doing well in addition to things that might need a little more work.
  6. Work with a health care team that is knowledgeable about pediatric diabetes in particular.
  7. Prepare healthy foods for the entire family. A healthy nutrition plan for someone with Type 1 diabetes will be a healthy nutrition plan for anyone.
  8. Parents needs to take an active role in diabetes management, but that role must be developmentally appropriate for the child or adolescent.
  9. Be honest with your health care team. Do not be afraid to tell them what is difficult for you and your child.

If managing your child’s diabetes seems stressful, take it one day at a time. Some days you will manage your child’s blood sugar perfectly. Other days, it may seem as if nothing works well. Work closely with your child’s diabetes treatment team. Each member of the team has a role to play in helping you to keep your child’s blood sugar level under the best possible control.

“UofL Physicians – Pediatric Endocrinology is a large multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurse educators, nutritionists, mental health specialists, child life specialists and other allied health professionals,” Dr. Foster says. “We do our best to help our patients and their families know that they are not in this fight alone.”

For more information about the care available at UofL Physicians, visit uoflphysicians.com/pediatric-endocrinology. To make an appointment at UofL Physicians – Pediatric Endocrinology, please call 502-629-8821.