Caring for a Child with Juvenile Diabetes
When you’re sitting in the pediatrician’s office with your child, the last thing you want to hear is that your son or daughter has been diagnosed with diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, is a serious medical condition in which the pancreas no longer produces the insulin that is needed to survive. Diabetic children require constant monitoring of their condition.
Managing diabetes in children requires that parents learn to count carbohydrates, monitor their child’s blood sugar, and give injections when needed – tasks which can seem very intimidating if you’ve never had to deal with any sort of chronic illness in the past.
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and frightened when your child is diagnosed with diabetes, but it’s important to try to remain as calm as possible.
Although poorly controlled diabetes places a child at risk of many dangerous complications, the medical community knows more about caring for diabetic children than ever before. With proper monitoring, regular exercise, and a healthy diet, your child can live a long and happy life.
Your pediatrician will direct you to a diabetes specialist who can provide training and answer questions you may have about diabetes in children, but you may also want to ask for a referral to a support group for parents.
Having a network of people who understand the unique challenges of parenting a child with juvenile diabetes can be tremendously helpful in relieving some of the stress you are feeling. There are also support groups for children with diabetes, although these tend to be more beneficial for tweens and teens, simply because they are old enough to have a better understanding of their condition.
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