Your Child Has Type I Diabetes: Now What?

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It can be a shock to learn that your school-aged child has Type 1, insulin-dependant diabetes. Because this is a life-long health condition, it's vital that you help them get used to a number of daily tasks so that they can complete them on their own in the future. It's also smart to take the following steps.

Notify and Remain in Contact With the School Nurse

You might think you've got the situation under control and don't plan to notify anyone as long as you pack your child a lunch and check their sugar level before and after school. However, the first person you'll need to talk to outside your pediatrician and spouse is the nurse at your child's school. It is critical that the nurse has some of your child's insulin in the office for emergencies. In addition, the nurse is likely to deal with other young diabetics each year, so they can offer suggestions and talk to you about the specific protocol that the school follows.

Explain the Disease to Family and Friends

Your extended family and your child's friends might be vaguely aware of diabetes, only enough to realize that your child will need insulin periodically. In order to protect your child's health, you're going to need to have a sit-down discussion with the people in your child's life about what foods to share and which activities to do. While you might already be teaching your child to avoid sweets, it may also be important for them to avoid store-bought juices and sodas that contain a lot of sugar.

Collect Extra Supplies

Once you've talked to everyone about the disease and given them the proper supplies in case they're needed, it's also important that you keep additional supplies in your own house. One severe snowstorm can knock out roads for a day or two, and not having enough of the supplies you need for your child will be scary and dangerous.

Get Support

It will also be important for you to reach out to the parents of other child diabetics. There may be situations you aren't sure how to handle and there might be times when you're terrified for your child's health. Being able to draw on parents who deal with the same kinds of issues can be helpful.

With these pointers, the lives of you and your child can be easier even when dealing with this health condition. Check with your pediatrician for more information. A pediatrician like those at Kitsap Children's Clinic LLP may be able to help meet your additional needs in this difficult time.