“My Child Has Diabetes:” The Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes Diagnosis

Caring for a child with diabetes means doing blood tests regularly and injecting insulin every day. You will have to manage your child's diet until he or she is able to take on this responsibility. You'll have to monitor sports and other activities a little more closely than you would for a child without diabetes. But none of this should stop your child from having a normal childhood. Your child's friends will be curious about diabetes. You can assure them that the condition is not “catchy” and you can educate them about insulin and blood sugar levels. You might even supervise them while they test their own sugar levels.

Do you blame yourself for your child's condition? You could not have prevented it, though you may be able to contribute to the growing body of knowledge, thus helping to prevent other children from developing diabetes. Speak to your child's doctor or care team about participating in scientific studies. If you are planning to have other children, discuss with your doctor options for minimizing the risk that these siblings may also have diabetes.

As an adult, you will have a life apart from your child. Regardless of how young your child is, you will need to find a babysitter with whom you feel comfortable. Teach him or her how to care for your child's diabetes. Ask family or friends if they can learn as well so that you can take an occasional break from your duties and that they can be more alert during play dates.

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