Upbringing a child in itself is a big responsibility and when the child is facing health challenges, the task becomes really daunting. Diseases are rampant, especially, diabetes in India has cast its shadow even on small children.
The disease which needs a whole new outlook toward living and lifestyle needs special care when the victims are children.
It is a nightmare for any parent to discover that their child has become a diabetic. However, such parents should remain strong, aware, and educated about childhood diabetes so that they can help their child adequately to withstand this altered health condition.
Parent of a diabetic child should keep below things in mind.
Work with a healthcare team
Diabetes management in children and others too is not only about limiting the blood glucose level. It is much more that includes their physical and mental wellbeing as well. So, you need to have the right access to multi-disciplinary healthcare team that includes, diabetologists specializing in pediatrics, nurse educators, nutritionists, mental health specialists, and others.
They can all together design the most viable diabetes management plan that could really work for your child. Based on the age, family circumstances, family history, and other factors, this dedicated team of doctors can offer you a working customized treatment plan for your child. For frequent suggestions, you can even consult a diabetologist online at your convenience. It is really good in the case of kids who need not visit the clinics always.
Develop a healthy conscience
A successful diabetes management is the outcome of a well-integrated conscience and self-responsibility. Kids are too young to adhere to a changed lifestyle due to diabetes. At the same time, this only is the age when someone adjusts, learns, and adapts to everything new very quickly. You should gradually try to make your child self-reliant, honest, and responsible for his/her age.
Checking the blood sugar level, saying no to unhealthy sweets, exercising regularly, etc are a few habits that need to be developed in your child. With discipline and your firm, yet cooperative gesture, this is possible to achieve.
Ultimately, you won’t be around your child 24 hours a day, so inculcate the habits which are healthy without putting pressure and always extend your support and supervision.
Try to be positive with your child
As a parent, you need to monitor and guide your child a lot about self-control and other ways of dealing with diabetes. But always remember, the way you communicate matters a lot in building the attitude of your child.
Telling your child about the goodness of sugar-free sweets, diet control, benefits of vegetables, and timely blood check-up is good, but in reverse, if you start telling what would happen if your child loses self-control, might go wrong.
Bring the things in a positive way in front of your child without painting any scary circumstances as a result of uncontrolled diabetes. The child needs to follow everything because he/she wants a healthy life and not because he/she might end-up with dreadful health conditions.
Have some non-diabetic time
A child’s life is about freedom, food, and fun which is hugely affected if someone gets diabetes at an early age. Always reminding your child about his/her health condition and the related constraints might put some mental pressure on the child.
This can get reflected in other walks of their lives also. So, make sure you spend quality time with your child which includes nothing about diabetes and the way of living with it. Also, let your child play, attend parties, sport and do other things like any other normal child.
Help manage the anxiety
Too much anxiety in the child about diabetes management gives unpleasant results. The child either gets frustrated and avoids management altogether or gets frenetic and stressed about self-management. In both the conditions, control over diabetes is lost.
So, managing diabetes in a child is actually a family affair where you need to create an environment that is free from any kind of anxiety. If needed, sometimes, you and your child need to forget that diabetes exists to normalize the home atmosphere. However, you as an elder should be vigilant about the child’s diabetic symptoms.
Keep anger and depression away
Even the kids who are able to manage their diabetes effectively, get angry over their changed lifestyle. Remember, anger gives rise to chemical response which only results in a high blood glucose level. Similarly, depression among diabetic kids are common but severe depression may only deteriorate the condition.
With lack of self-esteem and motivation, the child might not be able to work towards diabetes management. So, have a word with your child as what makes him/her angry and try to solve it. Engage your kids in physical activity, any hobby or sports to keep depression away.
Go for a regular check-up of your child without a miss. You can find a number of experienced diabetologists online and seek help. Talk to a diabetologist as and when you need from the comfort of your home.