General Practice 2022

10 tips for caring for a childçwith diabetes (explained by a pediatrician)

10 tips for caring for a childçwith diabetes (explained by a pediatrician)
10 tips for caring for a childçwith diabetes (explained by a pediatrician)

When a child has diabetes, it can be difficult to deal with the situation, since because it is necessary to adapt the diet and routine, the child often feels frustrated and may present behavioral changes such as wanting to stay more isolated, having moments of aggression, losing interest in leisure activities or wanting to hide the disease.

This condition can generate stress for many parents and children, so in addition to changes in diet, there are other precautions that should be taken to the child with diabetes. These care can help improve quality of life and reduce the impacts of illness on the child and include:

1. Always eat at the same time

Children with diabetes should eat at the same time and preferably have 6 meals a day such as breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and small snack before bed. It is ideal that the child does not go more than 3 hours without eating, as this helps to create a daily routine and facilitates the programming of insulin applications.

2. Offer an adapted diet

To assist in adapting the diet of children with diabetes, it is important to follow up with a nutritionist, so that a food plan will be created in which the foods that can be ingested and those that should be avoided. Ideally, high-sugar foods, breads and pastas should be avoided and replaced with low-glycemic options such as oatmeal, milk, and whole grain pasta. See which foods have a low glycemic index.

3. Do not offer sugar

Diabetic children have a deficiency in the production of insulin, which is the hormone responsible for reducing blood glucose levels and therefore, when eating foods rich in sugar, they present symptoms of very high glucose, such as drowsiness, thirst and pressure increase. Thus, upon receiving the diagnosis of diabetes, it is necessary for the child's family not to offer foods rich in sugar, carbohydrates and to make food based on other products with the lowest possible sugar content.

4. Avoid having sweets at home

You should avoid having sweets such as cakes, cookies, chocolates or other goodies at home as much as possible, so that the child does not feel like eating. There are already some foods that can replace these sweets, with sweetener in the composition and that can be ingested by diabetics. In addition, it is important that parents do not eat these foods either, as the child observes that the routine has changed for all family members.

5. Bringing sugar-free candy to parties

So that the child with diabetes does not feel left out at birthday parties, you can offer homemade sweets that are not high in sugar, such as diet gelatin, cinnamon popcorn or diet cookies. Check out a great recipe for diabetes diet cake.

6. Encourage physical exercise

The practice of physical exercises helps to control blood glucose levels and should be a complement to the treatment for diabetes in children, so parents should encourage the performance of these activities. It is important to maintain an exercise routine that generates well-being in the child and that is appropriate for their age, which can be soccer, dancing or swimming, for example.

7. Have patience and be affectionate

The daily stings to administer insulin or take blood glucose tests can be very painful for the child and, therefore, it is very important that the person who is going to give the sting is patient, has affection and explains what he is going to do.By doing this, the child feels valued, important and collaborates better at times when blood glucose tests or insulin administration should be carried out.

8. Let the child participate in the treatment

Letting the child participate in your treatment, for example, letting them choose the finger for the prick or holding the insulin pen, can make the process less painful and more interesting. You can also let the child see the pen and pretend to apply it to a doll, telling him that many other children can also have diabetes.

9. Inform the school

Informing the school about the child's he alth situation is a fundamental and very important step in the case of children who have to undergo specific food and treatments outside the home. Therefore, parents should advise the school to avoid sweets and to educate the whole class in this aspect.

10. Do not treat differently

The child with diabetes should not be treated differently, because despite constant care, this child should be free to play and have fun, so that they will not feel pressured or guilty. It is important to know that with the follow-up of a doctor, the diabetic child can have a normal life.

These tips should be adapted to the child's age and, as they grow, parents should teach them about the disease, explaining what it is, why it happens and how it can be treated.

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