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September 13, 2003

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Tallahassee, Florida, USA:

At what age should the heels stop being used for blood glucose testing and the infant/toddler switched to toes and or fingers?

Answer:

I think it makes little difference as to when one switches to different sites, or which sites one chooses for that matter. That said, some glucose meters are approved for Alternate Site Testing which includes the forearm, top of the thigh, and base of the thumb. The skin of the heels of the feet tend to be “thicker” compared to other body parts so it may eventually get more difficult to get a decent drop of blood easily.

Your own diabetes team may have preferences about meters. Ask them! Off hand, if she tolerates it, she could use her toes forever, in my view.

DS