How do I check my child's blood sugar levels if he has diabetes?

Checking blood sugar levels involves taking a drop of blood, usually from the fingertip, and placing it on a special test strip in a glucose meter. Blood sugar meters are easy to use, and even young children often learn quickly how to do their own blood sugar checks. In order to properly manage diabetes, blood sugar levels are checked several times per day. A new device called a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system is available to test blood sugar and works much like an insulin pump and constantly displays an individual's blood glucose level on a screen. The CGM attaches to the body like an insulin pump, and the site must be changed at least every three to five days. It still requires a few finger pokes during the day but greatly reduces the number of meter tests.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

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.