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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q.   

What is considered a high blood sugar?
 

   

For children with diabetes we follow the chart below for normal blood sugar ranges. Please remember, these are ranges for children with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and are being treated with insulin. 

American Diabeties Association Goals for Blood Glucose and A1c

For children with Type 2 Diabetes NOT being treated with insulin, the ranges may vary, depending on age. This is something that can be very individual and needs to be discussed with your physician.

Quiz: What do you know about pre-diabetes?

     
 Q.    How do I prepare the school for my child with diabetes?
   

Returning to school for the first time after summer vacation or following the diagnosis of diabetes can be scary for the parents and the child. The following are things to think about when sharing information with school personnel.

School personnel who are with your child on a daily basis need to know that your child has diabetes and how to care for him/her while in school. Personnel who may need this information are teachers, school secretaries, principal, school nurse (or aide), coaches, lunchroom employees, playground supervisors, and school bus drivers. We recommend scheduling a meeting with the identified school personnel at the beginning of each school year, or immediately after diagnosis (if during the school year). This is the parents' opportunity to discuss your child's specific care regime and identify who will do what and when at school. The American Diabetes Association recommends one primary caregiver, and two back up caregivers, be identified at school. The primary and both backups should be fully trained in all aspects of the diabetes care that occurs at school. Parents/guardians will need to sign a release of information form for the Diabetes Clinic chart in order for our office to share information with your school regarding your child. Here are some responsibilities to be aware of:

  • Parent responsibilities:
    • Identify and speak with school personnel who will have direct contact with your child
    • Communicate insulin doses/changes, meal/snack times, when to check blood sugars, how to treat high/low blood sugars, ketones, and glucagon
    • Provide all supplies to school including snacks and low blood sugar treatments
  • Child responsibilities:
    • Communicate to teacher/nurse signs/symptoms of low/high blood sugar
    • Take a buddy to nurse office when leaving class with symptoms of low blood sugar
    • Eat all meal/snack or communicate if unable to complete
    • Wear medical identification
    • Be involved in diabetes care planning
  • School responsibilities:
    • Train the primary and two backup caregivers to check blood sugars, draw up and give insulin injections, recognize and treat low/high blood sugars, check for ketones and know when and how to give a glucagon injection if necessary
    • Train other school personnel who have contact with the child to recognize the signs/symptoms of low or high blood sugar, who the primary and backup caregivers are, and when to seek assistance from the primary or backups
    • Communicate with parents any schedule changes (field trips, class parties)
    • Provide access to restroom facilities and drinking water follow individual guidelines in School Packet
 Q.   Who needs to know how to provide care for my child with diabetes?
    Any person who has contact or is a caregiver of your child needs to know the basic guidelines of diabetes management. Examples include babysitters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, playmate's parents, daycare providers and school personnel. School personnel who are with your child on a daily basis need to know that your child has diabetes and how to care for him/her while in school. Personnel who may need this information are teachers, school secretaries, principal, school nurse, coaches, lunchroom employees, playground supervisors, and school bus drivers. See the section on "How to prepare school personnel" for more information.
     
 Q.   What are ketones?
    The body uses fat for energy when glucose cannot be used or when no insulin is present. Using fat for energy can produce ketones. Ketones are acid in the body. Ketones can be measured with special urine test strips. If blood sugar is high (greater than 240) or you are ill, you will need to check for ketones
     
 Q.   What is glucagon and why do I need it for my child?
   

Glucagon (gloo' kah-gon) is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas by the alpha cells.  When Glucagon is given by injection, it raises the blood glucose levels by causing the liver to release stored sugar into the blood stream.

Glucagon is given for low blood glucose that causes seizures (uncontrolled movements), inability to respond to verbal commands (wake up) or to drink safely. Since your child receives insulin which lowers blood sugar, having a glucagon emergency kit available is necessary to treat an emergency severe low blood sugar. If your child is unconscious, having a seizure or unable to swallow, it is NOT safe to give him or her something by mouth. The glucagon injection is a safe way to bring the blood sugar up to an acceptable level.

     
 Q.   Sometimes I check a blood sugar, then recheck it right away and get a different number. Is there something wrong with my meter?
    Probably not. Self blood glucose meters today are much more accurate than in the past, but they are all only accurate to within 15% of what a laboratory blood glucose would measure. That's one reason that we rarely make insulin adjustments without first looking for a pattern in the blood sugars. (We might still need to make a correction based on the current blood sugar.) If the blood sugar is low, that discrepancy doesn't amount to much, but if the blood sugar is high, that 15% can look like a lot. For example, if you checked and got 300 the first time and 400 the second time, both numbers would be within 15% of 350 (the actual blood glucose). So which number do you use to make a correction? You would probably be safest doing an average of the two numbers. If you are concerned about your meter's accuracy, check it with the control solution.  Don't be afraid to retest and make sure that the skin is clean and dry before pricking the finger.
     
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