Tips For Managing Children With Type 1 Diabetes

Managing Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic illnesses to occur in children.  Having a child that has been diagnosed with this disease can present several challenges. Younger children may not fully understand how diabetes affects their health; they may become frustrated with dietary restrictions or have anxieties about receiving treatment.  Older children can often feel different or isolated from their peers and may neglect their self-care routines in order to fit in.

Creating a management plan can help families cope with some of these challenges.  Here are some of the components that should be included in a plan:

  • Education- Education is one of the most important components of a diabetes management plan. Teaching children about the disease should start as early as possible and continue into their teenage years. Encourage them to ask questions and provide an environment in which they can speak openly.   It is important to remember to provide answers that are appropriate and understandable for their age.
  • Meal plans- Meals should be planned based on a child’s age and level of physical activity. Diets should be well-balanced and exclude foods that can cause blood sugar levels to spike.  Teens are more independent in choosing the foods they eat each day.  Therefore, they should be reminded to stick to a schedule (To avoid missing meals) and be mindful of the foods they consume.
  • Medication adherence tools or approaches- Glucose testing and insulin injections can be scary for smaller children. However, parents can make receiving treatments easier by allowing children to choose the location for injections or their preferred finger for blood checks. These options provide children with a sense of control and can help to reduce their anxieties. Parents are also encouraged to perform diabetes care gently and quickly to ease discomfort.   Medication adherence in older children can be achieved through the use of technology.   Parents and children can utilize tools that help them to track diabetes care such as shareable digital calendars, reminder apps or auto-subscribing delivery services.  As older children take on more responsibility for managing their medications, they should be reminded of the consequences of not sticking to their routine.
  • Support- It is important for parents to establish a network of support because having diabetes can take a toll on children’s emotional health. Children need to feel safe in sharing their challenges in managing the disease. This network can include parents, family, friends or a mental health counselor.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers numerous services that can help you to manage your child’s diabetes. Our physicians are highly trained in all aspects of pediatric health. To schedule an appointment, please call 718-670-5486.


All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.