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Who can help me manage my child's diabetes after the diagnosis?

Laura Motosko, MSEd, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics

Seek out professionals that you relate to and trust. Your pediatrician can recommend an endocrinologist, specializing in diabetic treatment. A Registered Dietitian, Registered Nurse, and Diabetic Educator who may be a nurse or a dietitian should be seen as soon as possible. A Psychologist, Ophthalmologist and Podiatrist will also be a part of diabetic treatment. 

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

The same core medical team is needed for a child diagnosed with diabetes as an adult. An endocrinologist (some areas have pediatric endocrinologists), a certified diabetes educator nurse and dietitian, and a pharmacist are the key medical providers. Additional specialists will be added to the medical team such as an ophthalmologist.

With children one of the most important factors is to remember it is a family affair. The whole family should be involved in the education of diabetes management. The education must be tailored to the child's development stage. The education will be an ongoing learning experience. The initial key components for type 1 diabetes management include: blood glucose testing (4 or more times/day); taking medications as prescribed by the MD; healthy eating; and regular exercise.

Amy Jamieson-Petonic
Nutrition & Dietetics

I would strongly encourage a team based approached to help your child and your family manage this condition. The members of the team will be very important to helping your child understand and deal with this in the most positive way possible. A pediatric endocrinologist will be leading the team with a treatment plan, as well as a certified diabetes educator and a registered dietitian can help the child develop a healthy and liveable meal plan. Diabetes is a condition that can be managed much better today than in the past, and tighter control means a healthier life. A visit with the RD can help the child determine food preferences and ways to eat as many of their favorite foods while controlling their blood sugar. Other members of the team include an opthamologist, podiatrist, exercise specialist as well as a mental health professional if the child would like support in dealing with this as well. 

Some of the first people you’ll probably talk with are your child’s care provider and diabetes educator. In general, you will need to know how to check your child’s blood glucose, how to give insulin if needed, how to use a meal plan, and how to be physically active.

You will also want to know the extent to which your child can begin to take responsibility for his or her own care. If your child is only 2 years old, it is unrealistic to expect her to give herself insulin or check for blood glucose, but if your child is 10, she may very well be capable of checking her own blood glucose. Children mature at different rates. Some may be ready to give their own injections at age 7, but others may not be able to do it until age 11 or older.

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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.