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Type 1 Diabetes: Your Child's Role in Care


Topic Overview

Children with diabetes should participate in their treatment to the extent that is fitting for their age and experience with the disease.

  • Toddlers and preschool-aged children usually aren't able to do tasks for diabetes care such as giving insulin or checking blood sugar. As children get older, they generally cooperate with these tasks.
  • Children in elementary school can cooperate in all tasks required for their care. With maturity and experience, many children can test their blood sugar level with supervision.
  • Children in middle school or junior high school should be able to test their own blood sugar level. But they may need help during low blood sugar episodes. Some children can give insulin shots with supervision.
  • Teens should be able to handle their care with appropriate supervision. Teens may choose to use an insulin pump instead of shots. If they choose to use a pump, they still need supervision from adults.

When your child with diabetes begins school (or attends a child care center), you and the staff will work together to create a plan of care with instructions for handling your child's special needs. Children can participate fully in all school activities while still receiving the supervision and care they need. See a diabetes care plan for children attending a child care center or school for information about making a care plan for your child.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerStephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
Last RevisedDecember 7, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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