Pediatric diabetes, juvenile diabetes, and Type I diabetes are all the same disease. Most parents do not even realize that their children have developed this disorder until the first major episode that makes their children unconscious and unresponsive. However, there are multiple signs leading up to a major episode. As a parent, you should know what these signs are, especially if Type I diabetes exists in one or more family members. Here are those signs, and how to test your child's blood sugar to see if your child's blood glucose levels are too high.
Your Infant or Child Does Not Seem Satiated
An infant or child with diabetes is eating all the time and drinking his or her body weight in fluids. In an infant, this presents as a constant desire to breastfeed without breaks and rarely sleeping because the infant's body keeps telling the child to stay awake, eat, and drink. In a child, especially one that is old enough to tell you what he/she wants, the child is constantly asking for something to drink or complaining about being hungry. Either way, your child never seems satiated.
Just as quickly as you breastfeed or bottle feed your infant or give your older child something to drink, he or she needs a diaper change or needs to go to the bathroom. If you are changing more than ten wet diapers in a day, or your child is going to the bathroom once or twice an hour to urinate, that should be a big warning sign that something is wrong.
An Extremely Moody and Seemingly Lethargic Child
Because of the lack of insulin in your child's body, it cannot process the amount of sugar in the blood. This leads to an extremely tired or lethargic child, and babies will cry and cry without much rest. Do not dismiss this as having "a difficult baby," as many mothers once did. Take your baby to the pediatrician right away and request blood sugar testing for children, one of the many pediatric services that can determine if your child has Type I diabetes.
Testing Your Child's Blood Sugar on Your Own
If you cannot get an immediate appointment to see your child's pediatrician right away, many pharmacists sell blood sugar lancets and blood sugar meters that do not require a prescription. The meters are set with the basic parameters of high and low blood sugar.
You will have to use a lancet to pierce your infant's or child's finger, and then use a testing strip to collect a drop of blood for the meter. Fasting blood sugar (no food for twelve hours prior) should not be above 100mg/DCL. If it is much higher than that (e.g., 300+), your child may be very close to having a diabetic episode, and you should go to the E.R. right away.