Contrary to the popular belief that only older people suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, more and more kids are now diagnosed with this illness all over the world. The type of diabetes that kids are prone to is “type 1 diabetes.” Also known as ” juvenile diabetes,” this type is diagnosed in almost 40 children everyday.
Type 1 diabetes can be considered as the rarest type compared to other diabetes types such as “type 2 diabetes” and “gestational diabetes” but now, more and more people—especially the younger ones suffer from it. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs when a person’s body is stopped from producing enough insulin, which is a type of hormone that every human needs. In order to survive, people—especially kids—with this type of diabetes need to have insulin injected in to their bodies every single day in order to continue living.
With the help of modern technology, kids with type 1 diabetes can live a normal life because they have better options in terms of blood glucose testing and insulin administration which are just some of the common processes that diabetics undergo. To help kids cope with their condition, more and more medical facilities now offer treatments that can help the child live an active, healthy, and a life filled with fun and excitement just like other regular kids.
Dealing with diabetes in children
Parenting a child is enough challenge for a parent once he or she has decided to form a family. But when a child is diagnosed with a chronic illness such as diabetes, parenting and raising this child become more difficult, challenging and at times, frustrating. To help parents deal with their children when diabetes attacks them at such an early age, experts say that they should:
- Encourage and help the child to develop healthy eating habits. Once a child is diagnosed with diabetes, it makes his or her world smaller. There will be more restrictions especially in eating. These restrictions can lead to eating problems that will be harder to manage once they get older. So as early as possible, parents must instill in their kids the importance of eating healthy and well-balanced food to avoid further diabetes complications. Parents must also make sure that the child follows the regular schedule in taking in snacks and eating meals. But if the child doesn’t want to eat a certain type of food you’re offering, don’t force him or her. Instead, give the child a variety of healthy foods that he or she can choose from.
- Ensure to test blood glucose levels regularly. The ideal frequency of blood glucose testing is at least four times per day. If possible, the parents should monitor this themselves to ensure that if the child is coping with the condition or not.
- Instill in the child the importance of regular exercise. To avoid being obese, this can lead to more complications among kids with diabetes, parents must make exercise a part of the child’s daily living. This exercise should not be so rigorous, it can be a simple walk, jog, or even helping out with household chores as long as there’s enough movement for the day.
- Reassure the child of your love and support. There are kids with diabetes who think that having the chronic illness is their fault. Many of them also think that they have that condition because they did something bad or they are not just good enough for their parents. To erase these doubts in the child’s mind, parents must always reassure their child that they will support him or her no matter what and they will love the child no matter what.