How can I prepare for when my child with diabetes becomes sick?

Create a "sick day notebook" to help you keep track of everything when your child is sick. In your notebook, include:

  • The doctor's guidelines including when to call
  • Your diabetes care team's (D-team's) daytime and after-hours phone numbers
  • A copy of your child's insurance card
  • Sick day meal plans that deliver 50 grams of carbohydrates every 3-4 hours
  • A list of over-the-counter medicines that do not interfere with insulin or blood glucose (BG) levels
  • A record of BG readings, insulin dosages and carb counts of foods eaten
  • Comics, poems, pictures or anything else that may help your child feel better

Contact the doctor if your child with diabetes has:

  • Had a fever for two days.
  • Been throwing up or having diarrhea for 6 hours.
  • Can't keep any fluids down, even small amounts (sips) of clear liquids.
  • Glucose levels are way over target range (ask your diabetes care team [D-team] how high) even with additional insulin.
  • Moderate or large urine ketones.
  • Any symptoms of dehydration or ketoacidosis including difficulty breathing, chest pains, fruity smelling breath or dry lips.

If blood glucose (BG) levels get too high, your child's body will start to produce ketones. High ketone levels that go unchecked can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis or a diabetic coma. If your child begins showing signs of ketoacidosis, go to the emergency room immediately!

Continue Learning about Caring for a Child with Diabetes

Diabetes Tips for Kids, Tweens and Teens
Diabetes Tips for Kids, Tweens and Teens
Blood sugar control is a challenge for anyone with diabetes -- but it's particularly difficult for kids and teens who aren't experienced in meal plann...
Read More
What should I do when mistakes in my child's diabetes care happen?
American Diabetes AssociationAmerican Diabetes Association
As you and your child set out on the journey of life with diabetes, you'll find that each day is a l...
More Answers
How can I relax when I give my child insulin shots?
American Diabetes AssociationAmerican Diabetes Association
Whether you have to give one or get one, insulin shots and finger pokes for blood glucose (BG) check...
More Answers
Is It Common for Kids to Feel Depressed About Their Diabetes?
Is It Common for Kids to Feel Depressed About Their Diabetes?

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.