‘Why my child?’ you may well ask when told that your child has diabetes. You may feel guilty about your genes, or think that you caused diabetes by letting your child eat too many sweets. Relax! No one really knows why certain people have diabetes.
Researchers have been working on the question for years without a definite answer. While close relatives of people with diabetes (siblings, parents and children) have a greater chance to develop the disease, research has shown that diabetes is not caused by genetics alone. In fact, the majority of people who develop type 1 diabetes have no history of diabetes in their family. It is also not caused by eating too much sugar. Your child can still have all of his or her favourite sweets as long as they are scheduled in your child’s eating plan.
Children are mainly affected by childhood or juvenile diabetes, commonly known as insulin-dependent or type 1 diabetes, and the risk of children getting the disease is higher than virtually all the other severe chronic diseases of childhood.
Because diabetes needs close monitoring and management, it can leave your child feeling “different”, but there’s a lot you can do to help your child fit in:
- Ensure that your child’s teachers and the parents of the child’s friends know that your child has diabetes, and that they’re aware of the tell-tale signs of low blood sugar, such
- as shakiness, nervousness and apparent confusion.
- Make sure that your child has a blood-sugar kit with him and her at all times, and that he or she knows how to use it.
- Tell your child’s teachers and the parents of your child’s friends which foods and liquids should be given to your child when sugar levels plummet, and always pack extra snacks in your child’s school bag so they never run out.
- Integrate your child’s meal plans into those of your family. Diabetic food is healthy and nutritious for non-diabetics too!
Our Employee Wellbeing Programme (EWP) is available 24 hours a day if you want to discuss your child’s diabetes. Call us on 0861872862 or email us at
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