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October 26, 1999

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Northridge, California, USA:

My 7.5 year old son has had type 1 diabetes since he was 5. Now he is learning how to give himself injections, but is having problems with insulin coming out after he pulls out the syringe from the injection site. I can't spot what he is doing wrong. Do you have any suggestions how to avoid this from happening or maybe you can point out most common mistakes?


Children at 7 years of age often don’t have the dexterity to do their own shots, but they can help you out when they are interested. I assume you have talked to your child’s diabetes clinician to get individual advice. In general, leaking insulin can be from not having the needle in all the way, from pushing the plunger too fast, from having the finger on the plunger as you are putting the needle in the skin (kids do this all the time — so do parents when learning). Also, do wait a few seconds after the plunger is pushed in before you pull the needle out of the skin. There are more ideas, but one of these will usually work.