Type 2 Diabetes in Children (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Your child needs to eat healthy meals with appropriate portions to support growth and prevent weight gain. The meal plan for your child will also spread carbohydrate throughout the day to prevent high blood sugar after meals. For information on healthy eating and weight management, see the topic Healthy Eating for Children.
For help learning about carbohydrate counting, see:
Encourage your child (age 6 to 17) to do moderate to vigorous activity at least 1 hour every day. Limit the amount of time your child watches TV and uses the computer and cell phone. Guidelines for child and teen fitness may help you encourage your child to play sports and take vigorous walks or go bicycling with family members.
For children age 2 and older: The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to limit screen time to 2 hours a day or less. And it's best for children younger than 2 to not watch TV, watch movies, or play games on a screen.
Work with your child's teachers and school to make a plan to handle your child's special needs, including testing blood sugar and eating snacks when needed.
For more information, see:
Your child can take part in the same activities as other children. For safety:
Home blood sugar monitoring
You and your child will need to monitor his or her blood sugar frequently to know how well it is under control. Talk with your doctor about a target range for your child. Young children may need a higher blood sugar goal than adults because of growth needs and to prevent very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). As your child grows older, the goal can be lowered so that it is closer to the recommended target range.
Your child may not need to take insulin if his or her blood sugar levels are staying within a target range with meal planning, exercise, and possibly oral medicine. But at some point your child may need to take insulin because the pancreas may produce less and less insulin.
If your child takes insulin, you and your child need to know how to prepare and give a shot. See:
Other important issues include:
What to think about
Childhood and the teen years are a difficult time to be diagnosed with diabetes. Normal developmental changes may interfere with your child following his or her treatment. Teens also may deny their diabetes, rebel against treatment, or participate in risky behavior, such as using drugs or drinking alcohol.
You play a major role in helping your child become independent in his or her diabetes care. Allow your child to do as much of the care as possible. But give your child the support and guidance he or she needs. Your child will be more successful if your family is physically active and has healthy eating habits.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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