Information to help you plan and organize if your child is diagnosed with diabetes

Mother playing with her child who has diabetes

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children

Until recently diabetes in children and adolescents was thought of almost exclusively as type 1, but that thinking has evolved. With type 1 diabetes, your child’s body makes little or no insulin due to an overactive immune system. If your child has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you can download this helpful guide for more information. With type 2 diabetes, the body prevents the insulin it makes from working correctly and/or the body does not make enough insulin. In children, type 1 is still the more common diagnosis, but there's a rising trend of type 2 diagnoses in children and adolescents.

4 basics of diabetes management

 Healthy eating
Maintaining the habit of healthy eating comes from creating balance, and meal plans can include many options and flavors. If your child has type 1 diabetes, it’s essential to keep track of foods eaten and adjust insulin dosing accordingly. Your health care team can help you forge a plan that works.

 Being active
Physical activity gives your child more energy and makes his or her body more receptive to insulin. These are good things, but with type 1 diabetes it’s important to monitor blood sugar with activity. Also consider keeping “emergency carbs” on hand, like fruit juice, glucose tablets, or hard candies.

 Taking insulin
If your child has type 1 diabetes, he or she has likely been prescribed a daily basal-bolus insulin therapy, taken either by pump or injections, that involves both a long-acting (basal) insulin and a rapid-acting (bolus) insulin that closely mimics the body’s normal insulin release. With type 2, treatment options will vary with the individual needs of your child.

 Tracking blood sugar
You’ll need to closely track your child’s blood sugar level, especially if she or he has type 1. Your health care team can help explain when and how often to check blood sugar. You can also download this Blood Sugar Diary to help stay on track. There are also tracking apps available that you can download directly to your phone.

The highs and lows of blood sugar

Typical early symptoms of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar to look out for include:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Blurry vision
  • Going to the bathroom to pee more than usual

Typical early symptoms of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar to look out for include:

  • Feeling shaky
  • Feeling sweaty
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Feeling nervous or upset
  • Feeling very hungry
  • Headaches
  • Changes in mood or behavior

Hypoglycemia can also occur without symptoms, so be sure to regularly check your child's blood sugar.

It can be managed

You can help your child develop a positive attitude toward a condition that they may have to manage their entire life. It can bring you closer. As a caregiver and a parent, it’s a great foundation to help build—and a lasting gift to give.

Meet Tresiba® FlexTouch®

The prefilled insulin pen, Tresiba® FlexTouch®, uses one of the shortest, thinnest needles available and doesn’t have a push-button extension.

See the pen  

For children diagnosed with diabetes

Tresiba® is the only long-acting insulin approved for use in children as young as 1 year of age with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Learn more about Tresiba®