Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Diabetes in Children: Treating Low Blood Sugar

Diabetes in Children: Treating Low Blood Sugar


If your child takes insulin or certain diabetes pills that lower blood sugar, their blood sugar may get too low at times. Low blood sugar may happen if your child:

  • Takes too much insulin or other diabetes medicine.
  • Skips or delays a meal or snack.
  • Is more physically active than usual without eating enough food.
  • Takes a medicine that can lower blood sugar as a side effect.
  • Starts a menstrual period. This causes hormonal changes that may affect how well insulin works.

Low blood sugar levels can develop rapidly, within minutes. Treat low blood sugar symptoms as soon as you or your child notices them.

How do you deal with low blood sugar?

How do you deal with low blood sugar?

Be prepared

Being prepared can help your child avoid a low blood sugar emergency. Here are some things you can do.

  • If possible, use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). This helps predict when your child's blood sugar gets low.
  • Keep quick-sugar food handy. This includes glucose tablets, fruit juice, and hard candy (such as Life Savers).
  • Know the symptoms of low blood sugar, such as sweating, shakiness, blurred vision, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Check your child's blood sugar often. Keep a record of low blood sugar levels and share them with your child's doctor.
  • Show other caregivers how to check your child's blood sugar. Teach them the symptoms of low blood sugar and what to do when your child's blood sugar is low.
  • Have your child wear a medical alert ID at all times.
  • Have your child carry glucagon with them. Be sure that other caregivers know how to give glucagon.

Treat low blood sugar

Follow these steps when your child's blood sugar level is below the target range (usually below 70 mg/dL). Share treatment instructions with your child's family, friends, and teachers.

  • Be alert for low blood sugar.
    • Check your child's blood sugar level if you think it may be low, even if you don't see any symptoms.
    • Notice if your child has symptoms of low blood sugar. Symptoms include sweating, shakiness, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, and confusion. Be aware that your child may not always have the same symptoms.
  • Offer quick-sugar food when your child has low blood sugar.
    • Give your child carbohydrate from quick-sugar food, such as glucose tablets, fruit juice, or hard candy. Liquids will raise blood sugar faster than solid foods. While many adults use 15 grams of carbohydrate, children usually need less. For example, a child under 5 years old might only need 5 grams, and a child 5 to 10 years old might only need 10 grams. Every child is different. Check with your doctor or diabetes educator for the amount that is right for your child's current age and weight.
    • Wait about 15 minutes after your child eats the carbohydrate. Check your child's blood sugar level again.
    • If blood sugar is still below 70 mg/dL, give your child the same recommended amount of carbohydrate from quick-sugar food.
    • Repeat the same recommended amount of carbohydrate every 15 minutes until your child's blood sugar is in a safe target range, such as 70 mg/dL or higher.
    • When your child's blood sugar returns to the target range, give your child a small snack if the next planned meal or snack is more than a few hours away.
  • Know when to get help.

    Get emergency help if your child's blood sugar stays below 70 mg/dL or your child is getting more sleepy and less alert. Stay with your child until blood sugar is above 70 mg/dL or until emergency help arrives.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna


Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About The Cigna Group Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap


Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details