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 typically cooperate with these tasks.
When your child with diabetes begins school (or attends a child care
center), you and the staff will work together to build a
care plan with
instructions for handling your child's special needs.
Children can take part in all school activities while still getting the supervision and care
that they need.
Children in elementary school can cooperate in all tasks
required for their care. With maturity and experience, many children—with supervision—can test their blood sugar level.
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 as long as this happens 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.
Lifelong habits for self-care begin in the teen years. You can work with your child to set goals he or she can reach, such as checking blood sugar more often or eating more healthy foods.
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