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Health Information For Parents
When you have a child with diabetes, you and your family have a lot to learn, but you don’t have to go it alone. Your child’s diabetes health care team can help.
Treating diabetes requires the expertise of many types of health care providers, so health care teams typically include doctors, certified diabetes educators, dietitians, and mental health professionals.
The diabetes health care team teaches families all about diabetes. It helps families create and use the child’s treatment plan, also called the diabetes management plan.
The team adjusts insulin and other diabetes medicines, develops meal plans, and makes physical activity recommendations to help control blood sugar levels.
All team members should take into account your child’s schedule, skills, preferences, lifestyle, and growth and developmental needs. The team will help you cope with the challenges of parenting a child with a chronic illness and will help your child cope with his or her own set of challenges.
Keep in mind that you and your child are the captains of your diabetes health care team — all of the team activities focus on helping you and your child manage diabetes. The roles and responsibilities of the team members often overlap. You should feel comfortable communicating with all team members because you’ll be in contact with them often.
A pediatric endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in treating kids who have diseases of the endocrine system, such as diabetes and growth disorders. But pediatricians, family practitioners, and other medical doctors also can treat kids with diabetes and manage their health care needs.
You and your child should feel comfortable with the doctors you choose because your child’s diabetes management plan is based on the doctor’s prescribed treatment. Ask plenty of questions and make sure you understand the answers.
Doctors will ask detailed questions about how your child is feeling and will do physical examinations. They’ll also teach you and your child about diabetes and, with recommendations from all the team members, make a diabetes management plan.
Besides monitoring your child for diabetes complications and other medical conditions that can happen with diabetes, the doctor will make changes to insulin schedules and write prescriptions for medicines and referrals to other specialists as needed.
Note: Your child will still continue to get general health care from a pediatrician or other primary care doctor.
Certified diabetes educators (CDEs) are nurses, dietitians, social workers, doctors, or pharmacists who help people manage their diabetes. CDEs have had special training to teach parents and kids.
Registered dietitians are experts in nutrition and meal planning. They know about food and its effects on the body and blood sugar levels. Just as your child grows and develops, so must his or her meal plan, which you can talk about with the dietitian.
The dietitian will track your child’s growth and recommend the right amount of calories needed each day. The dietitian also will:
A mental health professional, usually a social worker or psychologist (but sometimes a psychiatrist or counselor), can be a great resource for families dealing with diabetes.
Mental health professionals can help parents watch for any problems at home, work, or school. They also can see how diabetes care affects the entire family, and help you find ways to improve your child’s diabetes management.
Social workers can help you find outside resources (like support groups) for families dealing with diabetes. They can suggest ways for families to get necessary diabetes equipment and supplies and help them deal with insurance and financial issues.
Psychologists and psychiatrists can use behavior modification techniques to help kids if they’re having trouble controlling their diabetes, are feeling angry or sad, or aren’t taking responsibility for diabetes care as they mature. Psychiatrists also can prescribe medicines for emotional problems related to diabetes, such as depression.
Depending on where you live and the type of diabetes facility that you visit (whether it’s a specialty diabetes clinic or pediatrician’s office), you may find all members of your team in one place. Or you might visit several different offices for diabetes care. If you don’t have access to a dietitian or mental health professional but would like to see one, ask the doctor to refer you to one.
Every person on the team is important to managing your child’s diabetes. Making sure they all know the diabetes management plan will make your child’s care as coordinated as possible.
Our Diabetes Center provides information and advice for teens about treating and living with diabetes.
Does your child have type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Learn how to manage the disease and keep your child healthy.
Diabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.
It takes all of your team members â you, your parents, doctors, certified diabetes educators, dietitians, and mental health pros â to help you take care of your diabetes.
Learn all you can about diabetes so you’ll be better prepared to talk about it with your child.
Caring for a child with diabetes includes knowing when to get medical help. Learn more about when to call the doctor.
You’ve probably heard your child’s doctor talk a lot about diabetes control. What is it and why is it important?
People who have diabetes may hear or read a lot about controlling, or managing, the condition. But what is diabetes control and why is it so important?
It’s perfectly normal for people with diabetes to feel sad, angry, confused, upset, alone, embarrassed, and even jealous. After all, these are natural emotions that everyone feels from time to time. But how can you cope?
If your child has diabetes, you may spend a lot of time thinking about the physical effects. But it’s also important to understand the emotional issues surrounding a diabetes diagnosis.
Dealing with diabetes can stir up a lot of different emotions. Find out more about dealing with your feelings if you’re a kid with diabetes.
People with diabetes don’t need to be on strict diets, but do need to pay attention to what they eat and when. Crack open the cookbooks and surf to your favorite recipe website because it’s time to plan meals that you love!
Kids with diabetes don’t have to follow a special diabetes diet, but they may need to pay more attention to when they eat and how much is on their plates.
Taking medicines is a major part of staying healthy if you have diabetes because they help you keep your blood sugar levels under control.
For most kids with diabetes, taking medicine is an important part of staying healthy. Find out more in this article for kids.
Whether your child is taking insulin or pills (or both) to control diabetes, it’s important to learn how diabetes medicines work.
Are you on your own at school when you’re dealing with diabetes? Not at all. Your teachers, coaches, school nurse – and even your friends – can help you out.
When kids with diabetes attend school, parents should discuss the condition with teachers, school staff, and coaches. Here are some tips on what to cover.
You probably spend more than a third of your waking hours at school. Chances are you’ll need to check your blood sugar levels or give yourself an insulin injection during that time. So what do you do?
Kids who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will need a diabetes management plan to help them manage the condition and stay healthy and active.
For kids diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it’s important to create a diabetes management plan to help them manage the condition and stay healthy and active.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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