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April 21, 2000

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from USA:

My seven year old son (diagnosed at age 4) has adjusted very well to his care routine for Type 1 diabetes. He has been blood glucose testing since his diagnosis, learned to give himself a shot at 5 1/2, drew up insulin with a NovoPen at age 6, and learned to draw up his dinner (Humalog only) and bedtime (Ultralente only) shots with a syringe just before turning seven several months ago. Of course, he does all this with guidance and supervision from his dad and me, and he doesn't do it himself all the time. His overall health is excellent and his HbA1c's have been good. At what age can he begin to draw up a mixed shot with supervision? He really wants to do everything himself, but I am worried about the complexity of his mixed morning shot, and about the added responsibility he might feel.

Answer:

You son has shown remarkable maturity with his diabetes management. My hat is off to you and your entire family for encouraging him to be actively involved in his diabetes from such an early age.

With regard to his ability to mix insulins, I think it is up to him and his ability to complete the task. Why not let him practice for a few days or weeks and see how he does? Already he has shown great dexterity and he will probably do just as well mixing. Only time and practice will tell.

KS