The diagnosis of diabetes in your child can cause tremendous fear, anxiety, confusion and uncertainty. And it’s often just as difficult for children to deal with diabetes. A child’s diabetes affects the entire family so one of the best ways for everyone to deal with it is to take an active role. Having a team effort in the day to day management can make dealing with diabetes become a simple everyday routine for everyone.
The more you learn about diabetes, the easier it will be to settle into a routine. In fact, kids with diabetes can do pretty much everything that regular kids do. They can play sports, and participate in all kinds of physical activities. They can even eat food with sugar in it, such as birthday cake and ice cream at a party. All of this just involves planning, first talking with their doctor, and then learning the routine of glucose testing, planned eating, and insulin, that works best for them. Once you have conferred with your doctor, you can notify the school or daycare centers about the care and services your child will need. With a little advanced planning, lunches purchased at school can be healthy and appropriate. At the same time you should be teaching your child how to make balanced choices in eating. A healthy meal plan for a child with diabetes is actually the same for a child without diabetes.
It’s important to treat your child’s diabetes as a normal way of life. Make sure you talk about non-diabetes issues as well. When your child comes home from school, first ask about the school day, rather than focusing on blood glucose levels. Stay positive and talk about all the things that are going well and then some of the things that need to be worked on.
In the beginning, everything might seem too overwhelming and impossible to deal with, butyou are not alone. Every hour, a new case of type 1 diabetes is diagnosed. Every year, about 13,000 children are diagnosed with the disease… and more than one million people live with it every day. It will take time to adjust, but just as they all did, you will too. And if you approach dealing with your child’s diabetes with a positive, upbeat attitude, chances are your child will too.