This is a great check list even for those of us who are adults. There are a few things in here I know I need to brush up on. This is a wonderful tool for helping your type 1 child be ready to face the world on their own…even if you are right behind them.
By Diabetic Lifestyle
How Prepared Is Your Child to Handle Diabetes Care Alone?
Checklist of Diabetes Knowledge
Written by Kamiah A. Walker
As part of the transition from pediatric to adult diabetes care, your child should have a high level of diabetes knowledge. Most likely, you have been taking care of things such as: keeping track of insulin doses, tracking blood glucose readings, ordering insulin and other supplies, and making doctor’s appointments. In transitioning to self-care, your child will need to be able to do all of these things alone.
Of course, if you throw all the responsibility at them at once, it will be overwhelming. This is why it’s recommended that you start early with talking to your child about diabetes management and making sure they are gradually taking on more responsibility.
By the time your child transitions to adult care and/or goes off to college or enters the workforce, he or she should be able to:
Provide his or her own medical history
Discuss the role of insulin in the body
Adjust insulin levels for carb intake and blood glucose levels
Discuss what the A1c level means
Talk about goal blood glucose and A1c levels
Track daily blood glucose levels
Explain how exercise affects blood glucose levels
Know when it is not safe to drive, and if they do have low blood glucose levels, how long to wait until they can drive
Explain the effect alcohol has on the body
Explain possible long-term complications of type 1 diabetes
Explain his or her sick day management plan
Order insulin, test strips, and ketone strips
Make doctor’s appointments
Identify his or her insurance plan and what is covered
Keep track of insurance claims
This is not, we should stress, an exhaustive list, but it is a starting point for tracking how your child is doing in transitioning to self-care. Your pediatric endocrinologist may have a checklist he or she uses to track this diabetes knowledge in an effort to prepare your child for adult care.
Additionally, the more diabetes knowledge your child has, the better prepared he or she will be to be an empowered, engaged patient. Building up their knowledge, confidence, and responsibilities over several years will go far in smoothly transitioning to adult care.
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