Life changes for the whole family when a child is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Many parents worry about how diabetes will affect their child’s life. How it may affect their future. How they can continue to live a normal life.
You may want to ensure that:
In simple terms the goal is to keep glucose levels under good control, as this can help to ensure a healthy life today and minimise the risk of complications in the future. One way of knowing that a child's glucose level is under good control is to keep their HbA1c in the target range set by their physician.
To keep blood glucose levels in the target range and to reduce the risk of complications, accurate doses of insulin need to be delivered to the body. Different therapies can include:
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HbA1c: an important measure of how effectively diabetes can be managed using a measure of the amount of glucose that has attached itself to each red blood cell over the preceding 2-3 months to assess the level of diabetes control.
The DCCT (Diabetes Control and Complications Trial) study confirmed that lowering HbA1c by just 1% can decrease the risk of developing microvascular complications by up to 40%.* HbA1c should be monitored every 3 months with the goal of keeping it below 7% (53 mmol/L) or at the target set by your physician.*
Normal glucose values vary between 4.0 and 7.8 mmol/L, and you may want to consider trying to achieve these targets in daily life with self-monitoring of blood glucose levels (SMBG) using a personal glucose meter.*
Parents may worry that their child may have a hypoglycaemic event (low blood glucose) during the night while sleeping. Many may check blood glucose values several times during the night to ensure that their child’s blood glucose levels are within their target range.
Young children need small doses of insulin. Many children eat small amounts at frequent intervals throughout the day so may require more frequent insulin injections.
So, what can parents do to help their children better manage their diabetes and to keep their blood glucose levels under control while letting them enjoy their childhood?