Tips for Parents Raising a Child With Diabetes
Parents of diabetic children have many things to consider in order to prepare them for the day ahead. Making sure their children have everything they need during the school day is important for the child’s success and for the parent’s peace of mind. These stories and tips can help you plan for whatever your child may encounter.
One mom named Lauren Rowe from Florida has taken steps to make sure her daughter is all set for her needs. Leah, her daughter, has Type 1 diabetes, and she’s currently in the fifth grade. Lauren posted a diabetes box idea for her daughter on Facebook, and she put one such box in each of her classrooms. “It’s great for substitutes,” she said. Lauren filled the boxes with glucose tabs and snacks for instances of low and high blood sugar. Many moms on the internet praised her brilliant idea. She also prepared a nurse’s box, which has a glucagon pen visibly marked. If you’re not aware of this diabetes term, “glucagon” is contrary to insulin and is used as a remedy for severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Lauren explained that Leah has to test her blood sugar several times a day. She also added a note saying, “If I am confused, or lose consciousness, call the office immediately!” And listed the office number to call underneath.
This idea is a game changer, as school teachers are not trained for medical emergencies. Every second matters in a crisis situation. Diabetes boxes give your children the assistance they need at such times and can save their lives. Moms of children with diabetes have the responsibility to fully prepare their children as well as the school for possible precarious situations.
The American Diabetes Association offers certain suggestions, such as discussing the child’s condition with their doctor before the child starts school. Also, the child’s condition should be discussed with the school’s management, such as the principal or teachers, so they are well aware in case of an emergency situation. There should be clearly laid-out instructions for the management of the child’s diabetes so that proper actions can be taken if an emergency occurs. Below are a few tips for parents of diabetic children:
- Ensure that the school is made aware of the child’s condition. The school needs to be able to recognize the needs of your child if a situation arises where, for example, the child needs to take certain blood tests or have snacks at a particular time. Certain allowances or leniencies should be allotted to the child to accommodate their disease.
- The school should also be aware that the child may be absent due to doctor’s appointments or a rise in blood sugar levels. These needs should be taken into consideration to adjust for the child’s condition.
- The child should not be kept away from any school activities. However, during field trips, there should be someone who can provide support to your child whenever they require it. Also, the staff of the visited location should be made aware of the situation. It is important to carry out a risk assessment before the child goes out for any trip.
- To reiterate for all parents, the school should be well aware of the type of diabetes the child is suffering from so that his or her needs can be properly taken into consideration.
- It is important for diabetic patients to follow a wholesome meal plan, but there is no need for an overly restrictive diet for them. Make sure the child understands their condition and its requirements, with no details being hidden from them. Similarly, the child should be made aware as to why they have to eat certain food items at particular times. Educating the child should always be a top priority.
- Children with diabetes should follow a proper exercise routine as well. Exercising or carrying out any form of physical activity can help bring sugar levels under control. Also, as with food, the child should be told why they are performing certain exercises and how they benefit them. Children whose sugar levels are normal can take part in sports activities as well after consulting with the doctor first. Sports can help the child to stay fit and healthy as well as give them the opportunity to socialize with others and not feel different or isolated by their medical condition. But, if their sugar levels drop too low or become too high, they should avoid sports activities while they handle the situation and then can start again once they are back to normal.
- Be sure that the child does not develop depression or feel anxious, as being depressed can kill their motivation level and worsen the symptoms of diabetes. Allow them to meet up with other children who are also suffering from the disease to help them cope.