Diabetes Control in Children

Diabetes Control in Children





Diabetes Control in Children

Overview of the Problem

Juvenile diabetes is a disease affecting the manner in which glucose is used in the body. It is a chronic condition that needs constant care in treatment as well as lifestyles of those who have it. Risk factors are genetic, which means that there is a likelihood of children to develop it if there was a family history. Other risk factors include viral exposures such as coxsackie and rubella, low vitamin D levels, and dietary factors. The prevalence of juvenile diabetes has increased significantly in children over the decades. Approximately 1.25 million children in America have the disease, and thousands of children are diagnosed every year. Diabetes in children can be overwhelming especially for the child and parents.

The diagnosis often means that much more care needs to be observed than before, which includes activities such as monitoring the blood sugar levels, administration of intravenous medication, counting carbohydrates, adopting healthier lifestyles, among others. Children, unlike adults must also be able to take unique measures of obtaining care and management of diabetes. This is especially because they are still in the stage of psychological, financial and health dependence on those who provide primary care such as parents or guardians. As such, it is important to teach children from a young age the importance of management of the disease in order to provide them with a strong foundation as early as possible. In the light of this, it is therefore important for the child to be in a positive and supportive environment, which can best be found within the family unit.

Review of Literature

Martin et al (2011) have encouraged a need for interventions in the form of behavioral characteristics for diabetic patients in the Mexican-American population. Some of the noted disparities included the lack of monetary motivation as well as the establishment of a trusting relationship between the diabetic patients and health care providers. The authors suggested that limited level of knowledge within this population was a contributing factor to the low levels of success of achieving the intended behavioral change (Martin, et al, 2011). According to the research carried out by Marvicsin (2008), a mother’s coping and self-efficacy for diabetes reflected largely on how the child would be able to maintain its own health. As such, the study conducted indicated that the availability of coping resources, which included medication, tools for monitoring blood sugar levels, and the general environment was efficient in providing confidence for mothers to cope effectively with their children’s diabetes. There was need to conduct further research into establishing what mothers considered the biggest barriers of diabetes control for their children.

In another research, it was revealed that the poor knowledge and understanding of the complexities surrounding type 1 diabetes among health professionals was a contributing factor of the deterioration of health in young children (Freeborn, Roper, Dyches, & Mandico, 2013). It also revealed the need for a change in the strategies of providing knowledge for the health care providers. The research also revealed that through proper and extensive knowledge of diabetes, the overall attitude of health professionals would shift positively as they will be in a better position to provide enhanced care for patients.

According to Silverstein et al (2007), children have characteristics that are unique to them, which health providers need to take into consideration when issuing treatment and management procedures of diabetes. For instance, the authors note that certain characteristics such as insulin levels, risk factors, education factors, and physical activities are some of the characteristics that are unique to a single patient, and thus treatment methods will be more effective if health providers do not overlook them. In addition, the authors have emphasized the need to involve children in the treatment and management processes as a means of providing them with a solid foundation from which they will be able to build their lives and improve management living with diabetes type 1. The authors have also emphasized the need to establish a team of health providers around the patient in order to provide the best possible health care in all the fields involved. The authors have also suggested that the initial care forms a crucial part of the process of management of the disease, and must therefore be conducted as soon as the patient has been diagnosed. In addition, it is important for family members, health care providers, and the patient to seek constant information on health care to improve their outcomes.

Proposed Solutions

After diagnosis, it is important for the family, health care providers and the diabetes patient to establish comprehensive plans that will provide long-term care. The primary care providers will depend on the specific age of the child, and may include a pediatric endocrinologist, diabetes team, and internist endocrinologist. A diabetes team will include a nurse educator, mental health professional, and a dietician, who will be able to provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment methods for the child. In addition, the reason for selecting this type of treatment procedure is to enable a collaboration of all the health care providers within the team, so that an all-inclusive approach can be utilized.

In addition, this selection method also allows communication between the health providers in order to enable the child receive adequate care (Silverstein et al., 2007). The system of care will also minimize the risks of collision in terms of medication, lifestyle, and dietary choices. For instance, through collaboration of health care providers, a primary care physician will be able to administer certain types of drugs, which may react negatively to certain types of foods; therefore, a dietician will be notified of the new drug administered in order to provide the necessary dietary recommendation for the child.

Another solution is in providing intensive training programs for close family member of the children. Depending on the age of the child, he or she may also take part in the training program to obtain crucial and extensive information on how to better manage their condition. The training program will be important to provide close family members with information concerning the diagnosis, risk factors, symptoms, treatment, and management of diabetes in order to enhance management for the child. The training program may involve close family members such as the mother, father, siblings, or even close friends. The procedure for diabetes education can be complex and prolonged, but the results can be rewarding through improved methods of care. Through adequate knowledge of the disease by family members, there is likely to be a reduced level of hospitalization, emergency room visits, and the total cost of health care for the patient. Diabetes education must also be tailored to meet the specific needs of the patient as well as the family. For instance, before conducting the education and training program, health care providers need to factor in important aspects such as financial status, socio-cultural backgrounds, and personal preferences.

The education and training process must be conducted by certified health professionals such as dieticians, mental health professionals, physician, and certified nurse. These health professionals need to consider the sensitivity, family history, and specific capabilities of the diabetes patient as well as those of the family members. They must exhibit compassion, which helps all those involved to develop a more positive outlook of management of the disease (Silverstein et al., 2007). For children below the age of 12, education is mostly focused on the primary care givers or other family members. For adolescents and older teens, focus of education will be toward them more than their caregivers. Some of the important recommendations of family education on children with diabetes include the issue of timeliness, where health care givers must provide the education program as soon as the disease has been diagnosed on the child.

Early intervention will increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for the child, thus helping them to better manage diabetes. Another important recommendation to all parties involved is that the education process is not simply a temporary program that provides an elaborate set of information of diabetes management. Rather, it is a continuous process that helps primary care givers, health care givers, and the diabetes patient to obtain timely and updated information concerning their health status. They will thus being better able to solve their health problems. Studies have revealed that the most effective education programs are continuous, frequent, and collaborative for those involved in order to show improvement.





Freeborn, D. S., Roper, S. O., Dyches, T. T., & Mandleco, B. L. (2013). The influence of an insulin pump experience on nursing students’ understanding of the complexity of diabetes management and ways to help patients: A qualitative study. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 3(3), 52-60.

Martin, M.A., Swider, S.M., Olinger, T., Avery, E., Lynas, C.M.T., Carlson, K., & Rothschild¸ S.K. (2011). Recruitment of Mexican American Adults for an Intensive Diabetes Intervention Trial. Ethnicity and Disease, 21(12): 7-12

Marvicsin, D. (2008). School-Age Children with Diabetes: Role of Maternal Self-Efficacy, Environment, and Management Behaviors. The Diabetes Educator, 34(3), 477-483.

Silverstein, J., Klingensmith, G., Copeland, K., Plotnick, L., Kaufman, F., & Laffel, L. et al. (2007). Care of Children and Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes: A statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care, 28(1), 186-212.

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