It is a fact that having a child suffering from diabetes can pose new challenges and worries. It can be very stressful for parents and the child, and that it will seem that this is a death sentence to your child. However, children with diabetes can still live a full and normal life. With proper management, living with diabetes can be easy and normal.
Having an infant or toddler diagnosed with diabetes can be very frightening. They don’t know anything about the disease and it can really be challenging for parents to manage and treat the disease as the child have no way of communicating what they are feeling.
The same situation goes for preschoolers with diabetes. They really haven’t learned to recognize the symptoms of having low blood glucose level and they will never be able to tell others when they are feeling low. This is why it is very important to constantly check the blood glucose level of your child as often as possible.
However, you need to understand that the child may be frightened by lancets poking their fingers and regular insulin shots. You should expect that they will try anything in order to avoid it or at least try to delay it from getting them. It will help if the parents talk to the child and tell them that they know it hurts and also tell the children that they are being very brave. Stickers and rewards will help encourage the child to get the insulin shot or get pricked by the lancets for drawing blood for sample. Instead of scolding or threatening them with punishment, always use positive reinforcements.
However, keep in mind to avoid using food as rewards as this can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food.
You also need to keep in mind that children with diabetes can have the same fussy eating habits as other children who are not suffering from the disease. It is best not to force the child to eat the certain food you are offering them. Instead, try offering them a different kind of food, which is also good for their diabetic diet. You can also offer them juice or milk instead if they really don’t want to eat.
During school age, your children will start wanting to be like their peers. It will be often difficult for them to understand why they are different from other children as they need to take insulin and have to follow a certain meal plan. Usually, the best way to handle this kind of situation depends entirely on the personality of your child.
Some children wants to show off to their classmates about their condition, such as they try to check their blood glucose level themselves and even try giving themselves an insulin injection for show and tell. Some older children with diabetes even presented the disease as science projects. However, you need to keep in mind that there are children that will not want to bring the disease they are suffering from on center stage.
They prefer to keep quiet about it and it is important for you to let your children decide who to tell about their disease and how much to tell. However, it is important to tell teachers, coaches, family, and close friends about it in order for them to understand what your child is going through.
These are the challenges that you should expect when living with children with diabetes. It can be very challenging and depressing at first but after a while, you will see that you and your child will be able to adjust and live a normal and full life.