Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Diabetes in Children

It is no more a herculean task to keep a track of diabetes in children. Checking blood sugar in a child was never so easy. With the advent of glucose meter, parents can check their child’s blood glucose levels instantly, anytime and anywhere. Knowing a child's blood sugar level helps the parents treat high or low blood sugar before it becomes an emergency. It also helps to know how exercise and food is affecting the child’s blood sugar and what amount of short-acting insulin should be given to the child, if necessary.

Diabetes in Children

Checking Blood Sugar In A Child

Here are some simple ways using which parents can start monitoring their child’s blood sugar levels, and even teach their little ones to do the same. They can do it by:

First You Need To Get Organized

Before starting to test the child's blood sugar, parents should talk to their doctor to know how often and when should they test their child's blood sugar. They can use a blood testing time’s form to record this information. Parents can also link testing their child's blood sugar with other daily activities, like right before an afternoon activity or just after getting ready for breakfast. This will help the child to build the habit of self-testing their sugar levels. Parents should stay well-equipped with the supplies required to test their child's blood sugar. This should be done to ensure that a test can be done quickly, if needed. The equipment should be checked before each test. The expiration date on the testing strips must be checked. If expired test strips are used, the test may not produce accurate results. A code from the test strip is not required by many meters. When using a meter, which requires a code, parents should ensure that the code number on the bottle of the testing strips match with the numbers on the blood sugar meter. In case the numbers do not match, the directions which come with the meter should be followed for changing the code numbers. It is highly recommended that a meter's sugar control solution should be used when using the meter for the first time, opening a new bottle of test strips, and needing to check the accuracy of the meter's results. The directions which come with the meter for using the control solution should be followed properly. The equipment should be checked at regular intervals. Instructions on how to care for blood sugar supplies should be put in the diabetic child's bag or kit.

How To Do The Test To Measure The Blood Sugar Level In Your Child

Testing the child's blood sugar can help to know more about the effectiveness of the treatment in keeping the diabetes in your child within a target range. When testing a child’s blood sugar, parents should wash their hands with warm, soapy water and pat them dry with a clean towel. The child should be made to do the same as well. A clean needle or lancet should be put in the pen-sized lancet device, which helps to hold and position the lancet, and also control the depth to which the lancet penetrates into the your child’s skin. Then a test strip should be taken from the bottle and the lid should be put back immediately on the bottle to prevent moisture from affecting the other strips. The blood sugar meter should also be prepared according to the manufacturer's specific instructions. Then, the side of the child’s finger tip should be stuck with a lancet using a lancet device. Some blood sugar meters and lancet devices allow blood testing on other parts of the body, like the leg, forearm or hand. So the parents should know where the device should be used. A drop of your child’s blood should then be put on the correct spot on the test strip, while covering the test area well. Finally pressure should be applied with a clean cotton ball on your child’s finger. This is done to stop the bleeding. Parents should wait for a few second for the results of the test.

Preventing Sore Fingers in Children with Diabetes

The more often a child's blood sugar is tested, the more likely is the child to have sore fingertips. The tip of the child’s finger should not be pricked as it can be extremely painful for them, and also the test is not likely to give accurate results. Parents should always only prick the side of the child’s fingertip. The child’s finger tip should not be squeezed. To get a drop of blood large enough to cover the test area of the strip, the child's hand should be hung down below their waist for 5 seconds and then squeezed beginning from the part of the finger closest to their hand and moving outward to the end of the finger. A different finger should be used each time. In case a finger becomes sore, it should not be used for testing for a few days. Blood sugar meters which use lancet devices that can get a blood sample from sites other than the fingers, should be used. Also, lancet devices which can be set to prick the skin lightly or deeply, depending on the thickness of the child's skin, should be used. Lancets should never be reused. A used lancet gets dull and can cause pain and bacterial infection in the child.

The Method of Recording the Test Results

Recording the child's blood sugar results is very important. The doctor will use the child's record to see how frequently their blood sugar levels have been in a target range. This record also helps the doctor to determine if the child's insulin dose or other diabetes medicine needs to be adjusted and also how the child's medicine, food, and activities are affecting their blood sugar levels. Parents must carry this record along with them every time they visit the doctor. This helps a lot in managing diabetes in your child.

Conclusion

So these were just a few insights in helping parents to manage diabetes in children. These guidelines should be adhered to along with your child’s doctor’s advice. Checking blood sugar in your child who is suffering from diabetes is an important part of managing diabetes in children.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 17, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest