Learn how lifestyle changes can help children with diabetes thrive at www.BetterHealthKare.com
Having a son or daughter diagnosed with diabetes is difficult for any parent, but the disease can be well-controlled when medication, diet and lifestyle changes are implemented. Plus, with a parent’s support, help and love on a child’s side, children with diabetes can lead an active and fulfilling life just like their healthy peers. So how can you minimize the challenges that come along with diabetes? Educating yourself about the disease and making smart diabetes-related decisions each day are key to living well with the illness. Here are 5 ways to manage your child’s diabetes daily:
- Keep your involvement active – Children of all ages are diagnosed with diabetes every day, and they are very teachable regarding how to check their blood sugar, use medication, etc. Even so, it is crucial that a parent stay involved in the daily care of the disease, tracking blood sugar levels, how much medication is being taken, when an emergency is occurring, if glucose rescue tablets are needed, etc. While a teenager may understand what diabetes is and how it has to be monitored every day, it doesn’t mean management of the disease will be on the top of their list of importance.
- Help them become comfortable – Speaking to your child about the disease in a calm, relaxed manner can help them become more relaxed about dealing with the illness. Also, the more educated you are on the disease, the more comfortable you will become in managing it…and your children will pick up on this.
When a family is at ease regarding testing, injecting medication, and talking about the illness, a child is less likely to feel ashamed or embarrassed when it comes time to check blood sugar or take medicine.
- Upgrade care with technology – Diabetes monitoring systems have come a long way in the last decade. Glucose monitors are smaller and easier to use. Plus, new continuous glucose monitors – which can read levels every few minutes via a tiny sensor placed under the skin – has dramatically helped patients manage the illness. This incredible technology has a multitude of features, including setting off an alarm if blood glucose levels are high or low while your child is asleep.
- Understand the impact/role of exercise – Adding regular exercise is a great lifestyle adjustment for children with diabetes. However, because exercise can help the body utilize glucose better, it also can make a child more sensitive to it. Exercise may also lower blood glucose levels in some children, but the effect may not be instant. Be sure to keep a close eye on your son or daughter after any activity to determine their baseline, if a drop occurs immediately or hours after exercise, and how medication might need to be adjusted.
- Learn about diet and diabetes – Diet and nutrition is vital when it comes to living well with diabetes. You can research on your own, or find a nutritionist or diabetes educator in your area that can provide you with a meal plan for a child with Type 1 diabetes, and give you general info. Remember, no one food is truly off limits with diabetes, but moderation and quantity is key.
While dealing with diabetes may seem like a lot of work, learning helpful management tips early on can help you feel less overwhelmed. If you have a child with diabetes, you can learn more about diet, recipes, traveling tips, and ideal exercises for diabetics at www.BetterHealthKare.com