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What can I do when family members give sweets to a diabetic child?

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Reach out very gently, wrap your hands around their necks, and squeeze until you feel better.

I’ll let you just sit for a moment and enjoy that image.

OK, now that you are feeling better, let’s tackle the question. I notice that you said your problem comes from family members. Frankly, you need to get in their faces. You need to educate them about diabetes and the risks involved. You need to make sure both that they understand the facts, and that they respect your decisions regarding the child’s care plan. You need to insist that they buy in. You may need to play the guilt card: “Don’t you love my child? Why would you want to give them something that can harm them?”

Many people simply don’t understand the realities of diabetes for children. Some un-informed members of the family may feel sorry for the child and think, well, one little piece of candy can’t possibly hurt. Well, it might or might not, but it can sure make a mess of their therapy.

I can only a assume that if your child had a peanut allergy of the eat-peanut-butter-stop-breathing-variety that your family would be more careful. I think you need to frame your education in the strongest possible terms. If need be, ask your doctor to call the family member and talk to them one-on-one. If push comes to shove, you may have to bar some members of the family from seeing the child until they “get it.”

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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.