How can I help my child manage diabetes?

If your child is diagnosed with diabetes, accept and manage it together in a calm, careful and positive way. Here are some tips:

  • Work closely with your child's healthcare team to manage diabetes.
  • Gradually involve your child in taking responsibility for his or her diabetes. Encourage your child and help them learn when, how and where to get help.
  • Get advice from your health-care team about handling special eating events such as birthday parties, sleepovers and active play or sports.
  • Be matter-of-fact, sensitive and supportive as you help your child or teen learn about diabetes. A support group or diabetes camp for kids can help.
  • Help teachers, baby-sitters, coaches, school food service staff, the school nurse and other who supervise your child understand your child's diabetes and how they can support the diabetes care plan.
  • Help your child or teen feel comfortable about asking to leave class or lay to monitor blood sugar and take insulin.

Parents have a responsibility for their child's oral health, especially if they have diabetes. If your child has toothache, you need to find out why right away. Is there a piece of food stuck between teeth? Is it a loose baby tooth on its way out? If you can’t find a reason for your child's dental pain you should see a dentist.

It's expected that babies and young children may experience some pain as their baby teeth emerge and as they begin to lose their baby teeth at 6 or 7 years. They may also suffer pain when food is stuck. Parents can usually help their children by removing the offending object.

However, if your child suffers complications losing their baby teeth, or you just can't remove that piece of food, arrange a visit to your dentist.

Depending on the severity of toothache, your dentist may recommend you take your child to the emergency room where there is a dentist on call. Your dentist or doctor will ask if your child's blood sugar is being properly controlled because this could increase their risk for oral infections.

Toothaches may be caused by cavities that have caused infection of the tooth and surrounding tissues.

It is vital that parents, guardians, caregivers and even babysitters, make sure children know how to take care of their teeth.

Continue Learning about Caring for a Child with Diabetes

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.