Does Diabetes Affect Kids?

An entire family gets affected when kids are diagnosed with diabetes and all members need to learn how to manage the condition on a daily basis. Effective management of diabetes in kids is possible through the right measures of control and guidance.

Recognizing parental expectations
The goal of all caring parents is to keep their child as healthy as possible. For parents of kids with diabetes, this may translate into monitoring blood sugar readings, amounts and type of food eaten and physical exercise taken by their wards. Proper counseling sessions with diabetes healthcare professionals will help parents understand their kid’s condition and how to deal with their own expectations for their child, without dismissing the children’s hopes. Key virtues are patience, flexibility and responsiveness towards a child’s developmental needs. Parents also need to be aware that their words and thoughts can influence the way their child learns to live with diabetes.

What children need to know about diabetes: from parent’s attitude
A child with diabetes needs reassurance, guidance and friendly control in all areas concerning diabetes management. Support from parents and family members can ensure that this medical condition does not feel like a life-sentence. Parents play an important role in helping kids understand that diabetes is not a ‘bogey man’ hovering over all aspects of daily life. Acknowledging a child’s fears about changes in life due to diabetes and helping the child understand the additional challenges of dealing with it to ensure as normal a life as possible, are some comforting actions parents can undertake.

Parents, kids and diabetes: care giving and daily living
An essential part of maintaining good health in a child with diabetes includes monitoring blood sugar levels. While test may be a scary word, check and reading are friendlier terms, so familiarizing children with easy terminology for checking blood sugar levels can be a guide for deciding what they can do next. The daily tasks of taking insulin, checking blood sugars and constant monitoring of food and exercise can be off-putting for children. It is perfectly normal for kids to get frustrated with this regimental necessity and they may rebel and ‘junk out’ on unhealthy food. This can be dismissed if it is an occasional episode, but consistent poor control can result in serious health problems later on and both parents and kids with diabetes need to understand the consequences.

Solution for kids and diabetes associated family members
There can be many problems associated with life changes that this condition requires. Some kids may display a pattern of missing shots, forgetting to check blood sugars and binging on unhealthy foods. Most parents may use verbal shock treatment to instill fear in order to reprimand a child but this is not advisable or effective. Caregivers need to help the child express the frustration of having diabetes and be there emotionally for the child to help share the load, be it taking over some responsibility of insulin shots or changing to a more interesting diet.