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From San Diego, California, USA:

My 8 month old adopted daughter was just diagnosed (and hospitalized) with Type 1 diabetes this week. Her hospital stay was quite traumatic and now that she's home she's doing better but I wonder if it makes sense to designate a special place in the house to do her pricks and injections. Will she learn to fear this place and become uncooperative? She now looks at me fixing up the needle and starts whimpering. Any suggestions for conditioning her to this would be helpful.


This question was referred to several members of the Diabetes Team, who have each given an answer:

Answer from Stephanie Schwartz, diabetes nurse specialist:

Injections and fingersticks should be done quickly and in a matter-of-fact fashion. Get the needle ready first. Anticipation is worse than the injection. (If no one has given you an injection yet, be sure to get one, so you know it doesn't really hurt!)

We don't recommend a special place, except one place to avoid: the child's bed or crib (their private space, that doesn't get invaded for anything).


Answer from Dr. Lebinger:

I would suggest trying to "condition" her by making a routine of positive reinforcement (giving her extra attention) after the shot or needle. You could hug her, kiss her, tell her you love her, and even tell her how sad you are she has to take these shots. If she doesn't understand everything you say now, she will soon. You may want to get a play doctor or nurse kit and let her "give shots" to a doll or teddy bear when she is old enough.

I think the most important thing is not to appear unsure about giving the shot. You want to convey to her through your motions and words that you are doing this because you love her.


Original posting 20 Apr 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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