8 Tips to Control Your Child’s Diabetes During Winter
Created by Janaki Srinivasan Updated on Nov 29, 2019
Diabetes in children is quite common these days. And since the blood sugar levels tend to escalate, during winters, it is important to maintain it regularly. But how do you ensure that your child stays healthy and his/her diabetes is in control? Well before we move on to the ways to manage your child's diabetes, let's see what is diabetes first. It needs a little more managing, especially in young children as they tend to avoid the routine check-ups and other things important related to maintain the right blood sugar levels. Our pro-parent blogger Janaki Srinivasan throws some light on how you can manage your child’s diabetes this winter. [Know - Diabetes Causes, Symptoms & Ways to Help Diabetic Child As Parent]
What Is Diabetes?
Before understanding how to manage diabetes in children it is important to know what diabetes is. In very simple terms, diabetes means excess sugar/glucose in the blood. Sugar provides children with the energy to run, skip, jump and play. Insulin from the pancreas allows the sugar to move from the blood to the cells to provide energy to the body. Now, if there is not enough insulin, the sugar levels in the blood rise and that leads to a condition called diabetes.
Diabetes & Winter
Diabetes can get quite overwhelming when children are involved at a very young age. In such cases, it is imperative to watch what they eat and how much they eat. Also, the next impossible thing is to keep them off sugar, sweets, and chocolates. Compared to warmer weather conditions, diabetes seems to be more acute during the winter months; sugar levels can peak while the temperature drops. Hence it becomes all the more necessary to keep a watch on it especially during winter.
Types of Diabetes in Children
Until recently, children were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes which is either genetic or caused due to a virus or chemical children come in contact with. However, now, children are also prone to Type 2 diabetes which usually occurs in adults. In this the pancreas makes insulin but the insulin doesn't work well. This is caused mainly due to obesity and not exercising enough.
Ways to Control Diabetes in Children During Winters
Here's what you can do to manage your child's diabetes in winter. We all know that winter is also a season for holidays when either we travel or have someone visiting us. So, during this holiday season, it becomes all the more important to be extra cautious with children with diabetes—it should not make the holidays dull and boring for either the particular child or for the entire family. [Know - Diet Precautions & Tips for Your Diabetic Child].
Here are some tips to enjoy the winter season and keep away from diabetes blues...
- Cold weather can leave the hands cold and make testing onerous. However, don't make the weather as an excuse to put off the tests. Make sure you explain to your children how important it is to get these tests done regularly. It works if you allow your children to take responsibility for their health. That way they are better off than when forced
- Winter is also a time when children get affected by common cold/flu which aggravates blood sugar levels. It is a good idea to take preventive measures like asking the children to wash hands regularly and getting them vaccinated against flu. Give them plenty of soups to make them feel better
- Because it tends to get very cold outside, children rarely go out to play. That also means that they are exercising lesser which can result in increased pounds during this season. Limit time in front of the television or computer and make sure that as a family you get into other activities that keep you all, including the children, moving
- Because children don't go out to play much, it becomes all the more important to make the right food choices this season. Make sure to avoid starch and carbohydrates. Instead, go for lots of green vegetables. Revise some of the traditional recipes to include sugar substitutes, nutmeg, vanilla and other items that are sugar-free but taste sweet
- If you are traveling, remember to stock extra food supplies and medicines. If you are going to a new place make sure to research beforehand about food choices and help in case of an emergency
- If you are planning for some sports events while on travel, you must make sure you understand which activities don't make your children too tired. For instance, children might get over-excited over sledding, ice skating, skiing, and snowboarding. Especially when they have to climb a hill and start. But, when you want to do that, you must also remember to pack snacks to have post sledding or similar activities. Breakfast is a must and even if children want to go for an extra round to play, make sure you don't allow them to overdo and get exhausted
- Make sure to keep their feet warm. Protect the feet with necessary winter footwear. Apply moisturizer to ensure that the skin is soft and healthy. Keep an eye for any wound or injury that is not healing. You must report it to a doctor immediately
- Always keep checking the blood glucose levels. Don't guess. As the season changes, there is a change in the activities and diet. If you notice a change in the glucose levels, consult your doctor. Keep your insulin solutions warm (they tend to freeze below 34 degrees Fahrenheit) and your blood glucose meter protected
So, What's The Takeaway?
Diabetes requires meticulous care, especially when children are involved. However, if it is one child in the family that is affected don't make them feel sick. Make sure that whatever changes you bring in the diet or activities, is done for the family as a whole. That way the child will not feel isolated and more stressed, which could negatively impact his/her health condition. A little bit of caution and some tweak in the normal routine is all that is required to keep children happy and problems away. So brush aside your worries and enjoy the cold weather! [Know - Which Foods to Avoid If Diagnosed with Diabetes?]
Did you like the blog on how to manage your child's diabetes during winters? Do you have some more suggestions? Please do share your views and feedback in the comments section below.