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June 15, 2001

Daily Care

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Question from Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA:

Our daughter developed diabetes when she was 15 months old and we have managed quite well. However, our issue now is our nine month old son who was just diagnosed. I think all the rules will change. How do you get a nine month old to eat if his blood sugar is low? What do I look for? He can’t walk so it’s hard to say if he seems low and I don’t want to wait until he is shaking — sometimes that’s too late.

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

Stay in close contact with your diabetes health care team and do lots of blood glucose tests. Use diluted Humalog (or Novolog) immediately after eating so that you will actually know how much food is ingested rather than trying to guess and worrying. Use real high-fat ice cream or uncooked cornstarch as a late bedtime snack since the high fat (or the uncooked cornstarch) would likely last long enough to get you through the night. Consider an insulin pump so that you have some better control of insulin delivery.

SB

[Editor’s comment: I suggest that you visit our Chat Rooms. There you will find lots of parents willing to share tips about managing diabetes in infants.

I also highly recommend two books:

Sweet Kids: How to Balance Diabetes Control & Good Nutrition with Family Peace by Betty Brackenridge and Richard Rubin and
Diabetes Care for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers: A Reassuring Guide by Jean Betschart, CRNP,CDE.

You should set your son’s target blood sugars a little higher than for an older child — ask your son’s diabetes team about this. As far as treating the lows, glucose gel or regular jelly placed on a soft toothbrush and rubbed into the gums works very well. Changes in his usual behavior that are not alleviated by usual means often indicate hypoglycemia in infants. When in doubt, check a blood sugar, and remember it never hurts to give some sugar even if you are unsure.

SS]