Whenever a child is diagnosed with either type I or type II diabetes, it is the parents that end up with a lot of anxiety since they believe that they might not be able to handle the situation correctly. However, children can prove to be surprisingly tough when the need arises. The only problem is to help them to conquer the fear in their mind. Most children are terrified of needles and it is this fear that leads them to abhor all other aspects of the disease. Here are some helpful tips in helping children deal with diabetes.
For very small diabetic children, it might be quite difficult to explain the importance of insulin injections and lancing devices, both of which are necessary but also quite painful. In such cases, the child should be convinced through story telling methods that might help to distract as well as calm the child down. Another method tried by some doctors and parents is to apply ice on the part where the injection is to be administered. This cools down the part, thereby reducing the pain but more importantly offers the child a chance to play around with the ice and also prepares him or her for handling the entire task during future years. The importance of a right diet should also be calmly explained in a fun way.
The child’s school should also play an important part in administering and monitoring the blood sugar levels in the same method. The school nurse should be competent and the child should be comfortable with the nurse. As the child grows older, he or she should also be provided with books, CDs and other educational airticles that can provide knowledge and help the parents and the child understand the disease. If the child is a teen, then adequate care should be given to his or her diet as parents might have less control over the child’s actions, especially outside of school. The teen should realize his or her responsibilities and the consequences of not monitoring the disease on a regular basis.
Science and technology have enabled companies such as Lifescan, a Johnson & Johnson group company to come out with an excellent range of blood sugar testing gadgets, insulin pumps, lancing devices, etc that can be very useful for children with diabetes. The company’s website also has around 1000 diets that can be useful for diabetics along with the nutritional value of each diet. The website also has a free software program that can be very useful in determining the right dosage of insulin to children. In addition to a safe diet, the child should also drink the right fluids to stay hydrated. Parents should also convince their children to attend outdoor camps for diabetic children that also teach them to play fun games such as baseball, baskeball, etc. This will provide a boost to their confidence and reassure them that they are still in control of their lives. If the child loses fear of the disease and the treatment and if the parents can responsibly handle all the aspects of the disease, then diabetes can just be treated as a minor irritant.
It could certainly be very stressful for parents with diabetic children. But, if the child is small and can be easily distracted and calmed then the treatment can proceed quite smoothly. Teens will also be need to be placated and should be made to understand their responsibilities if the treatment is to succeed. The above tips should certainly be kept in mind while helping children deal with diabetes.
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