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How much self care does your T1 do on their own?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by CameronsMom, May 9, 2012.

  1. CameronsMom

    CameronsMom Approved members

    Apr 11, 2011
    Cameron will be 6 years old in July and checks his own blood sugar regularly. The only time we really do it for him is if he is low or sick. Around mid-March, he started giving himself his insulin injections via syringe!! Shortly after that, we switched to the NovoPen Jr (in hopes of getting some family support in caring for him) and everything went down hill from there. We had an awful experience with the pen and were at the point of having to pin him down to give him his insulin. We are now back on syringes and he has zero interest in giving himself his injections again. We've tried a sticker chart (he earns a sticker for each time he does his own "medicine" and then at the end can pick out a toy at Wal Mart) and still no interest. We've also spoken to him about his desire to go places without my husband and I and how him doing his own insulin would allow him more "freedom". My parents are slowly learning to give injections but we're encouraging Cameron to take on more responsibility.

    So, my question is: how old is your child and what are their responsibilities in caring for their Diabetes? Are we pushing too much on him? I'm feeling like we need to back off a bit. Just looking for a little feedback and maybe someone has some ideas on how to get Cameron on board with his self care!! Thanks in advance for your support...
  2. sooz

    sooz Approved members

    Dec 4, 2009
    I personally think six is too young to have the responsibility of injections. My non D grandchild is six and speaking from a scholastic view she is just learning about numbers and telling time and I would not trust her to draw up a syringe with the proper dose. Your child must be exceptional! I think the kids should be allowed to be kids as much as possible. My D granddaughter is almost ten and she does do all of her finger checks and pod changes with supervision. She enters her carbs into the PDM and doses herself. But I think there is a big difference between six and ten. How often would your six year old e going places without you? Would you expect him to know how to count carbs too? I personally would wait a few years.

    I just noticed he is still five! Way too young.
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  3. emm142

    emm142 Approved members

    Sep 7, 2008
    I think he's way too young for that resposibility.
  4. jbmom1b2g

    jbmom1b2g Approved members

    Aug 10, 2011
    Taylor is 8 June will be 1 yr. She tries to do it all. When she was on the shot she would give it herself unless it was her arm, she will put her own sites in if it is her leg since she cant reach her bum. She tries to carb count but hasnt quit figured out the 2 digit adding.
  5. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    I'm really laughing at the notion of my kid at 6 giving herself injections - it's rather unthinkable.

    Granted your kid may be more advanced, but regardless, 6 is way too young to be burdened with the responsibility of any of this D stuff beyond learning to listen to his/her own body.


    Two words: Burn Out... you want to do everything you can to avoid this and using stickers and guilt to get him to act like he's a decade older than he is, is, imho, a fastpass to burnout.
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  6. jessicat

    jessicat Approved members

    Jan 10, 2012
    I figure they will have all their lives to do it on their own, let us take care of them now while they are young and keep the weight off their shoulders a little longer. There was a time when I thought I wanted to push my 7 year old to do his own injections. He did a few times then fought the issue. and I realized... do I really feel a 6 year old (at the time) child needs to have the injection part handled? or can that part wait! I think including your child in the resopnsibility of BS checks, learning to count carbs and meal planning as a team, even carrying their supplies while out is a good idea. But for us, self injections will wait a while.
  7. Timmy Mac

    Timmy Mac Approved members

    Feb 10, 2010
    When I was 6 all I was doing was checking my own bloodsugar and my parents were THRILLED.

    I remember trying my own injections when I was 7, but after a few weeks I stopped (I really dont remember why) I didn't inject myself again until I was 12...

    If your kid is absolutely sure of himself, then I don't see a problem with him giving his own injections. but I'm not sure if a 6 year old would be responsible enough to calculate his own dose.
  8. Mom264

    Mom264 Approved members

    Mar 17, 2009
    At 5-1/2 my daughter would check her own BG (once a day before snack) at school. A nurse or other adult would verify number on the meterand record it. DD was not responsible for that.

    She could also inject a pre-drawn syringe into her own insuflon, if insulin was needed. (Not needed often.)

    BTW: At 13 she does all her waking BG checks, boluses through the pump (and will draw up and give an injection if needed). She's is great at estimating temp basal rates, and combo boluses. However I still do 98% of the site changes and all of the sensor insertions.

    D-care is all day, every day. I feel as if anything I can do to prevent burnout I will continue to do.
  9. MamaBear

    MamaBear Approved members

    Jul 20, 2010
    Almost 2 years into this and my son does most everything, except for the majority of injections. He does maybe 2 or 3 injections per week, I do the rest. He'll be 13 this fall so he's old enough to do everything if need be. He's capable, but I too figure he'll have the rest of his life after moving out to do every single thing on his own, so even at at 12, I don't push him. If he were as young as 6 I'd probably be thrilled with just checking BG on his own. 6 is still pretty little imho.
  10. MamaLibby

    MamaLibby Approved members

    Oct 30, 2011
    At 5 1/2, my daughter could check her own BG with supervision, and if there was a time she wanted me to do it, I would. I talked a lot about what I was doing, just so she could pick it up naturally and understand why I was weighing her food, why she needed insulin for an apple but not for a piece of cheese, etc. but didn't expect her to do her own shots or count carbs. She got her pump shortly after her 6th birthday and could enter the number of carbs and her BG if I asked her to. Mostly though, I didn't expect her to do anything D-wise but tell me if she felt low.

    Now at almost 11, she checks her own sugar most of the time, can count carbs with some accuracy--for simple things like snacks she can count fine, but I don't trust her to do it alone so I typically double check her math. She assists with set changes, and can get it all set up with supervision, but prefers I insert the actual set.

    I agree with others--Avoid burnout! He has his whole life ahead of him to worry about D, and when he's older he can take care of himself. Right now, he's a kid and if he wants you to do his shots then so be it! JMHO
  11. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

    Sep 10, 2006
    When I was at Children's Memorial, they told me that they generally didn't expect kids to be doing their own shots until age 12, which was the nurse's explanation for why she didn't know much about how people give themselves shots.
  12. caspi

    caspi Approved members

    Oct 11, 2006
    To be brutally honest, it sounds to me that because you do not have others that feel comfortable giving him a shot via syringe, you are expecting him to do so. Why would you want to allow a 6 year old more "freedom". :confused: It sounds like you are the one that is looking for the freedom and are expecting your son to pick up the slack.

    He is 6. PLEASE let him be 6. My son was dx'd just shy of his 8th birthday. We did everything for him for at least 2 years, until he started showing an interest. We had NO family support and we survived just fine. ;)
  13. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    My son started doing his own care around age 12. He could test and give his shot at 8 while at school, but at home his dad and I were in charge until he was ready to take on more himself.

    I will echo the others, you were lucky that he stepped up and did everything. Very few experience this. Now let your son be 6 and you and your husband accept the fact that you will be in charge for many many years to come.

    The first endo we had said that we are responsible for the diabetes management until our son turned 18. (He was 3 at the time.) It has taken about that long.
  14. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    I don't even think burnout is the main issue.

    Do you realize that insulin can kill? Do you let your 5 year old give himself tylenol? Operate heavy machinery? Use windex to clean the mirror? Cook supper? Wipe his own butt?

    Seriously - I don't mean to be mean but come on - what part of a slight overdose of insulin can be deadly in a child that age is so hard to understand?

    I only say this because this is a pretty frequent question on this forum and parents get upset when people say that 5, 6, 7, 8 is too young. But guess what, if 5 is too young to handle chemicals, brush teeth, cook food, and get their on tylenol for a headache, then it is way to young to dose insulin.

    Insulin is a drug that is used to control blood sugar. Insulin is used to keep your child alive. An overdose of insulin can kill an adult, much less a 5 year old child who is giving himself injections so he can "
  15. mmgirls

    mmgirls Approved members

    Nov 28, 2008
    none really, except telling me what her cgm says and getting a juice box if she is low.

    We do the testing and the clinical aide or rn does her testing at school. We have started to ask her how many carbs are in a serving and asking her to weigh her snack.

    so really not much. during my next break from school, late August she will be in her next school year and have been with her new class for a bit and at that time I will see if we can work into her day her checking herself.
  16. bryantfam

    bryantfam Approved members

    Oct 23, 2011
    My CWD is 8 now and for a while was doing all of his own checks and his shots (with the NovoJr. pen) with me double checking either by sight or by sound (can't miss the clicks!). We're actually going on the pump because I want him to have less responsibility. I want him to trust how he feels (he feels lows but not highs) and alert me to it. He has his entire life to deal with diabetes but only the next few years of having me around to take control and help make it a smaller thing in his life. His endo pushed and pushed for him to give his own injections and do his own testing and I truly wish now I hadn't succumbed to the pressure.
  17. sammysmom

    sammysmom Approved members

    Oct 30, 2005
    A distracted 6 year old drawing up or dialing up his own insulin is an EMS call just waiting to happen. He is 6, how many places does he go by himself? I work with 6 year olds and at least 3 times a week they take too much lunch at school, misplace belongings, fall off of playground equipment and pee their pants......drawing up insulin and injecting correctly is not something I would count on either!
  18. MamaC

    MamaC Approved members

    Dec 9, 2006
    Sounds to me like the "new" has worn off and he's hit a wall. That is a boatload of responsibility.

    My 19 year old (six years in) just came home to pick up his Lantus so he can stay somewhere else tonight, and I had to catch him on his way out because he was leaving three minutes later without it.

    So six? I don't think so.
  19. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Nov 17, 2005
    At 51/2 - 6 Abby was just starting to do her own bg checks and that was only if we couldn't ( ie. driving in the car), she would take out her pump and unlock it. That was all she did.
    She is now self managing at school and after school activities and friends houses, but has zero interest or inclination to do anything at home. Our endo wants it this way. She shows she can care for herself when needed but also can say I'm overwhelmed I need help. The endo said that this is the best. Combo to avoid burnout.
    IMO 6 is too young to have so much responsibility put on him. If he wants to do stuff when he feels like it fine, but to have him doing it all on his own...too soon.
    This was a hard age because of things like play dates. We had to work it around injections or packed free snacks and requested parents monitor her when she checked her sugar. No insulin was given by parents, I would drive over and do it
    It's just in the last year or two that she would call me and we would walk through a bolus with the parent.
  20. caspi

    caspi Approved members

    Oct 11, 2006
    Beach bum, I think you hit the nail on the head -- it can be hard at that age with play dates, parties, etc. But like you said, as parents it is OUR responsibility to make sure that our kids have as normal of a childhood as possible. There were many a party, sleepover, etc., where I was coming back to check BS, bolusing, etc. And I didn't give it a second thought.

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