should I teach my 11 year old son how to give a insulin injection?

By realsis77 Latest Reply 2011-01-19 10:59:43 -0600
Started 2010-08-25 13:31:11 -0500

Hi family! I was wondering if it is best to teach my 11 year old son how to give an insulin injection? As you all know I am on a sliding scale of insulin. If an emergency did arise should he be trained on how to give me a shot? What are your opinions on this matter? Please help! Thanks family!

39 replies

T. Hayes
T. Hayes 2011-01-19 10:59:43 -0600 Report

I personally think you should teach him how to give insulin shots. My son is 8 yrs old and i taught him cus you never kno if something happens God forbid and he's the only one around has to be able to know what to do w/o panicing my son know all the numbers to calll in case something happen and he knows what to say

MewElla 2011-01-19 07:56:17 -0600 Report

Definitely teach your son. Especially if he is around most of the time. Non of us know when "things" happen and it could wind up saving your life. Good Luck to you and your son.

ivonalvarez 2011-01-18 23:01:43 -0600 Report

Hi realsis I recomend that you do teach your son. I have 4 kids and my three daughters know what to do in case of emergency now my son is a different story he dont want to learn he is scared of needles so I cant force him to learn.

PetiePal 2011-01-18 19:16:32 -0600 Report

Absolutely. It's nothing to be ashamed about and it could save your life one dire day! Also keeping your son in the know will help him to hopefully avoid getting diabetes in his own life one day if he sees what's involved and is aware from a young age.

sisson 2010-09-07 03:11:01 -0500 Report

For a while there I was on Lantus and I was thinking about teaching my grandaugther and then I remmber thank god it was only one time aday but yes I would teacher because what if I needed it and I coulded give it to myself and she was the only thier schould she watch me die or save me that's how I look at it!

katie614 2010-09-05 14:15:46 -0500 Report

You should definately teach your son all about diabetes, what it is, how it is treated, what can go wrong, and what to do if something does go wrong. I've had diabetes since I was 6yrs old and my mother and I taught my brothers, one older and two younger how to do everything and what to do if an emergency should arise. I believe it is very important for your son to know what to expect and what he should do in the event you are unable to care for yourself,especially the injection of glucagon and calling for help. You never know when he may have to help save your life or the life of someone else!

vpickle 2010-09-02 17:22:36 -0500 Report

You should totally teach him. I worked at a camp over the summer and I personally counselled over 10 different diabetics. I had a girl who went into ketoacidosis and I had to give her a shot, even though she was a junior in high school. Even though some people think because you are concious when you are at high blood sugar you can give yourself and insulin shot, they are wrong. You shouldn't be doing it yourself, you should at least have someone there with you. The least they can do is make sure you're calculating your doses correctly and correctly administering them to yourself. The girl I helped over the summer was so out of it and delirious and feeling so sick that there was no way she could have done it on her own. Also, when I was diagnosed, even though I was 17, my brother who was 12 was given instructions on what to do if I ever needed help. Please make sure your son is given instructions on how to care for you. What I learned over the past few years is that HELP CAN NEVER HURT ANYONE.

kdroberts 2010-09-03 07:44:24 -0500 Report


With insulin, help can absolutely hurt you, possibly kill you, if it isn't done right. It's very easy to stack insulin or to miscalculate a dose or hit a muscle if you are not aware of what has happened throughout the day and are not giving insulin on a regular basis, even if you have been taught how to do it. Also, DKA is a tricky thing, the chances of a type 2 going into it are remote, even with high blood sugar, since the underlying cause is no insulin in the blood stream and most type 2's will have some, or a lot, at all times. Type 1 is very different and a type 2 with no insulin production would be at a similar risk level.

Glucagon is different, I would absolutely teach anyone close to me how to use it but insulin is a lot trickier to weight the benefits against the risks.

vpickle 2010-09-05 14:51:50 -0500 Report

either way… even if I was a type 2. and yes. I do know the difference, I have to teach people the difference all the time, because all you type 2's are all that people talk about. and no one knows about type 1. so don't tell me I don't know the difference. back to the original topic. even if I was type 2, I would still have at least someone who was with me a lot know how to give me an insulin injection because once you teach them. just like you were taught, then they have the same knowledge as you and so they know how to calculate and such and where to give the injection. an 11 year old is not as "dumb" as people think. if you teach them correctly and tell them everything you know, they will be able to at least double check what you are doing if for some reason you are doubting your calculations… yes. insulin is a tricky and dangerous thing if not used correctly. however, since this woman is asking whether or not to TEACH her son. if she teaches him correctly, and tells him everything she knows and what he will need to know, then there should not be any problems. it would be just like she was giving the injection. telling a kid to give an injection without proper training is a dumb thing obviously, but after you teach someone, they should be able to understand and comprehend what to do. and if your problem is that you think an 11 year old can't comprehend that information then I feel sorry for you. because that 11 year old is going to be the one taking care of you and others when you are older and in a nursing home. children are much more intelligent than adults give them credit for.

gregsteele 2010-09-02 17:04:08 -0500 Report

I think you should teach him i taught my children and a few weeks later he had togive me a glucagon shot as i had a serious low i feel he saved my life love to all GREG

jason123 2010-08-29 22:35:09 -0500 Report

I must admit I am really surprised this discussion is still going lol…I thought Kdroberts has made his point very clear…I know you could 'fall asleep' when you are high, but if you pass out when you are low and your son give you a shoot, you will end up in coma, or worse…Kd's suggestion is good.

Gemm 2010-08-29 14:15:48 -0500 Report

By all means teach him about your diabetes and whatever he may need to know to help you in testing or anything else, especially if you are unable to do it yourself (that includes calling 911 if he has to do all that for you IMO). My older daughter has a nephew (husband's sister's child) who was diagnosed diabetic as well as with celiac disease before he was 4. By 5 he was testing himself for BG, making his own menus and responsible for himself in what he would and wouldn't eat, though his mother did monitor all this as well. I don't think it is ever too soon to teach our children about these things as you never know when they will be called on to act in an emergency and if they don't know what's going on or what to do not only could it be life-threatening but would in the long-run be a lot more traumatic for them than learning how to help us with taking care of our health concerns.

By my step-son learning about all this from his mother's diabetes, he now, at 21 has taken on the job of being a live-in home-health aid for a dear friend of ours who cannot take care of herself and doesn't want to go into a nursing home - at least not yet. Because of his early teachings with his mother he feels confident enough to be able to do this.

Any chronic illness in any family member is a family concern, not just a concern of the person who has it. All education for the family is not only helpful but IMO necessary for the well-being of the whole family, and more important for children who often think that bad things happen to themselves or others because of something they did or thought. By teaching them about these illnesses, they will be less likely to take the "blame" or responsibility for them and understand that they are natural events that happen to people.

Good luck & hugs

Gemm :)

blugenm 2010-08-28 19:15:22 -0500 Report

Hi all. I am very new to this site and hope to have friends and get advice. When I got diagnosed in June 2010 I came home with my meter and taught my boyfriend how to test my sugar and what to do if it's to low or high. He is ssooo supportive it's great. He has also jumpped on the diet bandwagon with me. He's lost weight and feels better about himself and his weight. He asks everyday what my numbers where and helps with body checks for any cuts or red areas. You should teach everyone in your family about your meter/testing/food/exercise. All the information you need to know they should to. Remeber this diease didn't just happen to you it happened to everyone in your family. I hope I helped. Talk to everyone later. Nice to meet you.

sc1boy 2010-08-26 22:02:39 -0500 Report

YES you need to teach him how to do your shot just in case you have a bad episode. I am teaching my daughter how to spot when I have a low BG and she is only four years old. She is doing a good job at spotting when I need to eat something.

wolfettia 2010-08-26 20:50:19 -0500 Report

Very good idea, all my family knows the routines. Also post on front of fridge the dosages and what to look for on highs and lows. My 10 yr old grandaughter and 12 year old grandson even knows! Good luck girlie!

monkeymama 2010-08-25 22:38:06 -0500 Report

I would take a look at his maturity level and determine from there. I am in the process of training my 10 year old but because of some concerning issues with my 12 year old, we decided to wait for a while. However, my oldest two kids and my husband (son has severe cognitive issues) are learning warning signs, where to look for, phone numbers, and the basics. I got a kit from the American Diabetes Association to better help with educating them. Mays gave us this idea in a post he made about a week ago. If you go to even though it says it is for families with children having type 1, it still works for educating other children and other individuals. If you have some of your information, you can also use that as well. I had the high and low warning signs laminated and placed on our refrig. Also, if you do decided to show him, maybe talk with you doctor if they have anything to help or take him with you to an appointment. My middle daughter found it VERY interesting and informative for her. Good luck! Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.

LKeplinger 2010-08-25 21:42:39 -0500 Report

He should know how to call 911 (and probably does) and how to administer glucagon in the event of a serious low. He needs to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a low blood sugar. There are many times when family members "see" the low coming before the diabetic is aware of it…the subtle changes that take place.

realsis77 2010-08-26 10:23:34 -0500 Report

Can I get the glucagon from my doctor? Should I just ask for it?

LKeplinger 2010-08-28 09:54:25 -0500 Report

Glucagon requires a presription…yes, ask your Dr. and he/she should write one for you. Your son should also know where you keep your emergency kit…glucose tabs or juice boxes or jelly packets or cake icing tubes, etc in the event he needs to assist you with treating a low blood sugar. This kit should be with you at all times. Glucagon is used in the event of seizures, incoherence, unconsciousness, inability to swallow, etc…

Roy531 2010-08-25 20:36:57 -0500 Report

If you are going to teach him to inject insulin you should also teach him how to use your meter so he can test your blood to be sure you need an injection. Tell him what the readings should be, maybe make a chart showing what the ranges you want you sugars at so he will know what to do if reading is low and what to do if reading is high. Don't let him practice on you, get an orange to practice on.


kdroberts 2010-08-25 20:07:39 -0500 Report

To all who think it's a good idea to teach the son to inject insulin. I've been racking my brains and I can't think of any emergency situation where it would necessitate somebody else to administer insulin, what sort of thing are you thinking of?

realsis77 2010-08-26 10:32:37 -0500 Report

Remember I pass out or do that "sleep thing" when my numbers are high. Its like I'm drunk. I must sleep when it happens and I can't get up to give myself the shot.

tkellerhalls 2010-08-27 00:40:52 -0500 Report

I would keep a note book of when you gave your last shot and what your sugars were. I did this for my father in law when he had sugar and I do for me now so my husband and step son will know when I checked my last sugar and to call 911 if it gets to a level below 50 and over 300 I dont take shots yet or meds just was diagnosed a month ago but it would be a good idea to keep a journal of all your meds and shots taken and sugar levels one it helps the family member but it will also help your doctor to determine if you should be adjusted if you ever do need to be rushed to the er. good luck…

kdroberts 2010-08-26 11:39:40 -0500 Report

That might be a worthy situation. However, without him knowing when you last took insulin and how much you took, even knowing your blood sugar and following directions he could still put you in some real danger. It is also worth considering that high blood sugar isn't an immediate danger unless it is extremely high. What sort of levels are you getting the strange turns and does your blood sugar come down without you taking extra insulin? It's not a bad idea to teach him but it's possible that he could cause more harm than good even if he follows directions to the letter.

RAYT721 2010-08-25 17:18:57 -0500 Report

Definitely… the whole family should know how to tend to your needs. Diabetes is nothing to hide and the teaching you give today can save your life and even their lives in the future.

Mama Dee
Mama Dee 2010-08-25 15:49:54 -0500 Report

Happy day,
Better safe than sorry, the sorry part is that anything happen to you (God forbid) then your son would feel like he couldn't done anything to help you. Praise be to God that you are thinking ahead. Be blessed & know that you both are highly favored in the name of Jesus.

Working 4 Jesus, & Loving it.
Mama Dee

Kaiyle 2010-08-25 13:58:56 -0500 Report

Children are so incredibly resourceful and tough in times of trouble. I feel it would be a most wise decision to teach him how to give you an insulin injection. Though I pray you will never need to have him do this for you. Stay well and healthy my lovely friend.

kdroberts 2010-08-25 13:51:30 -0500 Report

It's probably not needed since it would be rare that there would be a case where you would need to inject and couldn't. I really can't think of an emergency situation where they would need to know how to inject you.

If you have a glucagon kit (you should if you take insulin you should have at least one) then teaching them how to use that is very wise. If you were ever to need it, you would not be conscious to inject it or tell somebody how to do it and it isn't as simple as just drawing some up and sticking you with a syringe.