Diabetes mellitus is considered a disease of the adults. However, the disease does not spare children either. Worldwide, there are 500,000 children aged under 15 years with type 1 diabetes. India houses about 97,700 children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Children with type 1 diabetes mellitus require life-long care and proper monitoring to prevent complications.
Type 1 diabetes is known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. In this condition, the pancreas no longer produces insulin, and the insulin needs to be supplied through external sources such as through injections.
The risk factors for type 1 diabetes include:
Seek your doctor’s help if you notice any of these symptoms.
Dietary changes: Usually, the child with diabetes can eat the same healthy food as everyone else. But you need to be careful and need to follow certain precautions:
Physical health: Your child can participate in all physical activities with his/her friends and classmates. Physical activity for 60 minutes or more sometimes may cause the blood sugar levels to become too low. Here are some tips to follow to promote the safety of your child during physical activity.
Care at school: Type I diabetes has to be managed 24 hours a day, even when your child is at school. You need to inform the teachers and care providers about your child’s condition.
Emphasize independence: As a parent, you need to support and encourage your child, then he or she can take the responsibilities of managing it and will build positive attitude and confidence.
Focus on friendship: Having fun with friends builds a sense of belongingness and confidence. Encourage your child to discuss that he/she has diabetes with his/her friends. This makes their friends feel more comfortable interacting with your child.
Rectify misconceptions: Talk to your child about the facts that people do not deserve diabetes but it just happens. If your child is feeling guilty about diabetes, offer him or her assurance that there is no reason to feel guilty.
Getting to know, that your child has diabetes is a quite overwhelming; keeping yourself strong would make your child strong and happy. So, you must have a good knowledge about diabetes that is useful for helping your child to stay happy, healthy and active.
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