With help from their pediatrician and a team of endocrinologists and diabetes specialists, along with support from parents, caregivers and school personnel, young children and teens with type 1 diabetes can learn how to maintain this chronic disease and live full, healthy lives, writes Westchester Health Pediatrics pediatrician Dr. Lauren Adler, in a recent blog.
Pediatricians play a key role in the overall health of their patients, including type 1 diabetes education
When caring for a child with type 1 diabetes, a pediatrician’s goal is to ensure healthy growth and development (both physical and emotional) and to gradually encourage self-care (with parental supervision) in order for the child to achieve healthy independence. During school and daycare, childcare providers and nurses share the responsibility of providing healthy diet and medical supervision of insulin therapy and blood glucose monitoring and management of hyper- and hypoglycemia.
The degreee of self-managing type 1 diabetes depends on the age of the child
The young child with type 1 diabetes is subject to more viral illnesses such as vomiting and diarrhea which can affect their dietary intake and predispose them to both hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). These may be further complicated by their inability to communicate due to their young age. Hence, astute parents and pediatricians are crucial for the meticulous monitoring of the child’s care and the prompt diagnosis and treatment of illnesses that can trigger hypoglycemia or DKA.
Adolescents with type 1 diabetes pose their own special challenges as they begin to drive and to potentially engage in risky behaviors such as drinking alcohol, smoking and sexual activity. They are also at risk for eating disorders and psychiatric issues, as well as non-compliance with blood sugar monitoring and the administration of their insulin. Again, parents and caregivers need to be vigilant in identifying these issues and providing appropriate therapy and guidance.
If your child has diabetes, we’re here to help
If your child has diabetes, or if you would like him/her to be tested for it, please call (914) 232-1919 to make an appointment with one of our Westchester Health pediatricians. He/she will also be happy to talk with you about any concerns or questions you might have about managing your child’s diabetes. Whenever, wherever you need us, we’re here for you.
To read Dr. Adler’s blog in full, click here.