Having diabetes as a child is a tough road to have to travel. But, thankfully you can make it a little easier by planning ahead and speaking openly to your child and others about their disease. The child has nothing to be embarrassed about, and this issue should not be hidden. In fact, hiding it can be a lot more dangerous than letting everyone know, plus being open will make your child feel more normal rather than as if they have a bad secret to keep.
Every day has to be planned ahead to include meals, snacks, testing, and injections. For small children there are risks all over the place in terms of food that they cannot have. Because of this, it’s important to let your child have some planned treats occasionally so they don’t feel left out. The truth is, what’s good for your diabetic child is also good for other children.
They’re Not That Different
Children should eat a healthy, balanced diet, stay hydrated with non-sugar sweetened beverages and get plenty of activity each day. The only difference is that your child will need to monitor their blood sugar, and take breaks to either give themselves insulin or take medication. Oftentimes this means an adult will need to assist them.
Dealing with Other Children
If your child has diabetes, the best way to deal with other children is to make them part of helping your child stay safe and healthy. Offer to teach your child’s class about diabetes. Bring a fun interactive presentation and make your child feel special. A nice party with appropriate and healthy food to top it off will help.
Talking to Teachers
Teachers and administrators need to know everything they can about your child’s condition. Some schools today do not have nurses on staff. Sometimes, if your child is not on a pump and you can’t leave work to administer insulin injections, the teacher will be the one to do it and it’ll be up to you to train them how to do it appropriately. Plan to spend a day or two at your child’s school so that you can go through every procedure, and watch them do it as well so that you can feel assured.
Be an Example
Don’t eat foods in front of your child that they cannot have. Don’t have food around the house that your child cannot have. Live a healthy life along with your child, and let your home be your child’s safe place away from temptations and being left out. It’s not right to have those things around or at the dinner table if your child can’t have them.
Most children with diabetes will live long lives and maintain their health as long as they’re taught how to care for themselves appropriately. Pay attention to their meals, calculate and teach them to calculate their carbohydrates, and ensure that they get their insulin on time in accurate dosages every single day.