Diabetes can be an overwhelming disease for many adults. When children are diagnosed with diabetes, it can be overwhelming for the child and the parents. Managing your child’s diabetes may seem like a daunting task. There are dietary restrictions, blood glucose logs and even medication that needs to be administered correctly and at the right times. School is even a challenge as you struggle to ensure that your child adheres to nutritional guidelines and takes blood glucose readings regularly.
Keeping a positive attitude, a sense of humor and a watchful yet flexible approach to your child’s health care are tools that will allow you to guide your child through a happy and fulfilling life while also managing his or her disease. The following tips will help you manage your child’s diabetes.
Get Educated about Diabetes
The most important weapon in your arsenal is knowledge. The more you understand about your child’s diabetes – type 1 or type 2 – the better equipped you will be to manage it. Work with your child’s health care team, attend seminars and read books. Join a support group if one is available or socialize with other families facing the same challenges. Information will empower you and help you approach your child’s disease with confidence.
Communicate with Your Child’s Doctor
Your child should see her health care team several times per year for proper diabetes management. Don’t be afraid to be honest with any concerns you have when visiting the doctor. Discuss challenges you are having with diabetes management or struggles your child is going through that are related to the disease.
Stay Positive and Calm
This is critical. Your child needs to understand that he or she is doing the right things for her health, and your encouragement when she eats well or sticks to his or her testing schedule will help reinforce the behavior for the long haul.
Further, remaining calm can help as you work with your child to manage his or her diabetes. High blood glucose results might scare you, but you don’t want to frighten your child or make the child feel like he or she has done something wrong. Keep your emotions in check.
Make Sure Your Child Enjoys Childhood
Managing your child’s diabetes may be a little easier if it doesn’t feel like such a chore. Sleepovers, dances, sports and family outings should be as much as part of the child’s life as if he or she was never diagnosed with diabetes. Make time to talk about school, friends and activities in which he or she is involved. Make sure your child knows he or she is more than the disease.
Adopt a Healthy Diet for the Family
Prepare meals that meet your child’s diabetic needs, but make sure you all eat the same thing. Healthy meals are good for everyone and will help the rest of the family maintain healthy weights while supporting the child. It also can avoid making a diabetic child feel excluded during mealtime.
Stay Involved in Management of Your Child’s Diabetes
No matter how old your child is at onset, remember that you are the parent and he or she is the child. Teenagers might seem ready to manage their own diabetes care plan, but they can be forgetful and are caught up in many other things. Talk to your child regularly about blood glucose levels and diet and exercise to ensure that your child is making good choices.
Following these simple steps can help you follow the doctor’s orders while instilling a positive attitude in your child about his or her diagnosis. Allowing your child to live a full, happy life while teaching him or her how to manage health will ensure that the child has the tools he or she needs for adulthood.
Exploring Disability Benefits for Childhood Diabetes
If your child’s diabetes has associated complications that may compromise his or her quality of life, Rob Levine & Associates can help. We can help parents wishing to pursue Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, to which a child is entitled. Call us today at 1-866-LAW-SSDI to set up a consultation.