Your Child Has Diabetes
Diabetes in your child affects the entire family. It can change your life and your child’s life for the worst. But that doesn’t mean that diabetes should prevent your child from enjoying a fulfilling life full of health, joy and happiness. Knowing what to do, doing research on the disease and working closely with your health care team will help you and your child overcome diabetes.
Diabetes in Children
Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in children. In recent years, type 2 diabetes has also been diagnosed, probably because of the spike of unhealthy habits and obesity in more developed countries.
The cause or causes of childhood diabetes are still not known, but the factors are believed to be much the same as with adults: viruses, genetics and the environment play a role in childhood diabetes.
Symptoms are also similar to adults: Increased appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Behavioral problems may also be a symptom of diabetes in a child.
Most diabetic children are treated with insulin. Insulin shots are the most common way of administering the insulin. Older kids also use insulin pumps for treatment.
As with adults, control of blood glucose levels is important, and an essential part of doing this is by having a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Talking to a trained dietician will help you come up with healthy eating habits for your child.
What You Must Do As a Parent
You play an important role in your child’s life with diabetes. The very first thing you must do is understand what your child is going through, and learn how to deal with the situation in beneficial way. Educate yourself and find out what you must do to help your child face the challenges of diabetes, both emotionally and physically.
Become familiar with your child’s treatment; understand what you must do as a parent. Your child’s health care team can help you. Learning how to administer insulin shots, knowing the symptoms of low blood sugar and making sure your child follows their daily treatment routine are important things you must know.
Teaching Self Care
Teaching your child how to take care of him or herself and getting them involved as soon as they are old enough is crucial for the child’s independence and self esteem. It will also help them know what to do when you are not there. Remember, you won’t be able to be with your child at all times. You must encourage and supervise your child, but not overwhelm them by being too overprotective, as it will cause emotional problems. Teaching your child how to test their blood glucose levels and how to administer insulin as soon as they are old enough is a vital part of getting them involved in self care.
Children and teenagers will sometimes go through emotional times associated with their growth and development where they may not want to follow their treatment as they need to. Understand the physical and emotional issues that your child is going through, both growing up and having to face diabetes. Encourage them and keep them emotionally strong, not letting them stop or avoid treatment for any reason.
Facing the challenge of diabetes for you and your child will not be easy. Nonetheless, making the effort to educate yourself and better help your child is well worth it and rewarding. Teaching your child self care and independence will better improve the child’s well being, both physically and emotionally. Working closely with the health care team will help your child stay healthy and avoid complications. Remember, your child has diabetes, but that doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t deserve a healthy, happy life. It is in your hands to help your child achieve just that.
Source by Jesus Chirino