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Need Advice on how to teach your child to check their bg

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Tiera, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Tiera

    Tiera New Member

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    When is it a good age to start showing your child how to check their own blood sugar. My son Jayce recently turned 3 and he had had diabetes for a little over 2 years, he knows how to read his blood sugar numbers very well. Although when I hold the poker to his finger and ask him to press the button he is so scared to do it and usually starts to cry he can put the test strip in the meter, wipe his finger off, but he will not press the button to poke his finger. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions as to what I can do to aleast get him to the point where he will atleast press the button to prick his finger? I don't want to push him to hard because he is only 3 but he will have to do it on his on one day. He never give me a problem when I check his blood sugar.
     
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

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    Yes, he will have to do it on his own someday but why in the world does that mean he has to do it now? I'm sorry, but I think it's wildly premature to be worried about the fact that he'll have to do it "someday".

    He's 3 - if he didn't have diabetes would you be imposing similar responsibilities on him? Maybe require that he prepare his own meals? Take drivers ed?
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  3. Mish

    Mish Approved members

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    I think a 3 year old that cries when confronted with poking a sharp object into his own finger is a sensible and normal 3 year old.

    Why on earth would you want him to do this on his own?
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  4. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

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    My son was diagnosed at age 3, and didn't do any finger pokes himself, not one, until 2nd grade, so age 7 or 8. He does them just fine himself now. It's not like it takes years of practice to get it right, LOL.

    There is no reason, none, to force a 3 year old to do his own finger pokes. Let it go.
     
  5. roo'smom

    roo'smom Approved members

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    You're showing him how to check his blood sugar every time you do it for him. My dd was diagnosed when she was 3 and had no interest in doing her own finger pokes at all. I waited until she asked to do it herself, although I really can't remember what age that was. Unless he's expressing an interest in doing his own, which it doesn't sound like he is, I wouldn't push at all.
     
  6. zoomom456

    zoomom456 Approved members

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    I have seen the YouTube videos of kids 4-6 doing their own tests. I think they are the exception rather than the standard. The American Diabetes Association recommends parents do all testing until approximately age 8. I also think your child will help guide you and let you know when they are ready. My son is 5 and 99% of his testing is
    done by me or my husband. On occasion he asks to put the test strip in the meter, or put the test strip to the blood drop. I think he has wanted to do the actual poke a handful of times. Right now we let him take it at his pace.
     
  7. mamattorney

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    My four year old has a schoolmate with T1 - she came to our house for a playdate a month or so ago and she checked her BG before lunch by herself, start to finish. She seemed very proud of herself, so I'm guessing this was a recent accomplishment. I know I was impressed.
     
  8. Brenda

    Brenda Junior Member

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    I agree with the others that 3 is a bit young for a child to check his own blood sugar. I think our daughter, diagnosed at 24 months, was not able to check herself, relatively unsupervised, by the time she was in first grade. I also looked at it this way: when she is an adult, she will be checking her blood sugars for many years. I could not take diabetes away from her, so I tried to make it as easy as possible. Now that she's an adult, married, a mom, she/her husband care for her diabetes. She is fortunate that her husband is a nurse, willing to help her as much as he can (luckily not just with diabetes). Our daughter is now 26 and the cure, therefore an end to BG checks, is closer, but still not right around the corner.
     
  9. Brenda

    Brenda Junior Member

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    Just saw about the 4 year old. I think that is unusual, but I doubt he/she would know what to do with the BG other than tell an adult (you/parent) what it says.
     
  10. mamattorney

    mamattorney Approved members

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    She didn't, she just checked, read the numbers as individual numbers to me (as in one four seven instead of one hundred forty seven) and handed me the meter - she told me she knows that sometimes when there are only two numbers, she eats a snack and when it starts with a 3, she gets a shot.
     
  11. Guru_rb

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    Kids are sooo cute, in everything that they do, aren't they?
     
  12. Mish

    Mish Approved members

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    and I can totally hear it in a 4 year old voice too. LOL. That's adorable.
     
  13. missmakaliasmomma

    missmakaliasmomma Approved members

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    Agree that 3 is too young. If he shows interest fine, but obviously he's scared to do it by himself. My daughter has had D for 4 years and is 5 yo. She rarely checks herself. Sometimes I ask her if she wants to.. If she does, fine, if she doesn't, fine too.
     
  14. wilf

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    My daughter was diagnosed at 10. She was checking her own blood sugar by 11 - for the first year she was afraid of the finger pokes and we did that for her.

    You son is 8 years younger. Why on earth would you even think of trying to get him to do finger pokes?

    If you wait 7 years, he'll still have started a year before my daughter. I advise waiting the 7 years, unless at some point he is demanding to be allowed to do the finger pokes. In the meantime this is entirely your responsibility.
     
  15. Nancy in VA

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    If he doesn't want to, then don't.

    Emma was diagnosed at 2.
    When she was about 4 1/2, she all of a sudden wanted to poke her finger herself. So we let her.

    At about 6 or 7, she wanted to start entering carbs into her pump for boluses, so we let her. she also wanted to fill her cannula after a site change, so we let her.
    At about 8, she wanted to make basal rate changes when we change her insulin (we have to reduce basal or get major lows on new insulin), so we let her.

    I have tried to get her to push the button to insert a new site, but she doesn't want to - so I don't make her.

    Its all about when she is ready (or 18 and getting ready to move out, at which point I'll smack her upside the head and tell her she's being dramatic :) )
     
  16. virgo39

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    I agree with the other posters-- you are already showing him how to check his own blood sugar number. This is an area where I would let your son lead the way, at least until he is a bit older. At this stage, if it were me, I think I'd do nothing more than ask, from time to time (less than once a month?), if he'd like to press the button and if he doesn't that's fine. The fact that he does not fight you when you check, even though he has some apprehensions about pressing the button himself, is really great, by the way.

    You may find that one day he says he does want to try it himself. We found DD was willing to try a lot more things after a week at ADA camp. The camp did a good job, but it was more about seeing what the other kids were willing (and not willing) to try.
     
  17. quiltinmom

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    I am guessing that at this point you are feeling like he will "never" want to do his own BG checks. It can feel that way sometimes. (I am a worrier too...I feel your pain!) My guess is that one day he will grab the pricker from you and that will be it; he won't ever let you do the pricks again. He will get there. Just not today, and probably not tomorrow. Just let it happen naturally, don't try to push it just yet. (if he's 15 and still needs you to prick, then we have a problem. :) lol) I find myself sometimes getting all worked up about problems that eventually solve themselves. My guess is that this is one of those.
    \
    I wonder how painful the pricker is. I have used a few different prickers on myself, and they are definitely not all created equal! I am guessing, since you aren't brand new to diabetes, that you are using a good pricker and have the settings right, etc. Just thought I'd put it out there anyway.

    Another thing I want to say is that sometimes it takes a different adult to get them to feel like they can do something. For instance, DS was giving himself his shots at school before he wanted to do them at home (this was 2nd grade). He would do it for the nurse at school but not for me. Once I learned he was giving himself shots at school I started having him do them at home. so maybe he just feels better with you doing the pricks for now. He will get there, I promise. :)

    Good luck!
     
  18. mmgirls

    mmgirls Approved members

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    My dd was DX at 13 months and while there might have been a handful of times before the age of 7 that she played with wanting to test herself. She entered school and the school did her tests for her for kinder and First grade and most of second. This is the first year she tests herself at school and home, except at night and morning/breakfast check I do that in for her in her bed.

    I would concentrate on the concept of testing, the vocabulary you want used, and the proper technique.

    Honestly it is hard enough to get a 3 year old to wash and really dry their hands well enough and choose a finger that has not been poked too much already.
     
  19. mom2ejca

    mom2ejca Approved members

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    Learning how to do diabetes tasks is a gradual process. Just like teaching a child any life skill is a process. At first you completely dress a toddler, but then one day they put their shirt on, but maybe they put it on backwards, so you help them fix it.They start putting pants on but they still need help with the button. Eventually, they can do it all without assistance.

    I look back at all the diabetes tasks that my daughter can do 5 years after diagnosis and I can't really recall specifically when she started doing most of them. I think the first time she did a finger poke it was because her Grandma was too slow and she didn't want to wait.

    There are going to be certain things that your child is going to do really quickly and other things that take longer for them to be ready. My 12 yr has never inserted a site or given an injection, and that's ok with me. She can SWAG carb counts better than me, can work the pump better than her dad, and is generally responsible about managing diabetes.

    I can't think of a single reason why a 3 yr old would need to do it himself. At his age he's always under the supervision of an adult that should be able to do it for him. If he were a teenager and you are having to run to his friends house, basketball practice, etc. to do his fingerstick, then I'd say you might want to give him a hard shove to do it himself:D
     
  20. nebby3

    nebby3 Approved members

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    My dd was 19 months old at dx. By 4 she could definitely check herself and could do the pump (we'd tell her what numbers and double check) by 5. It was helpful to have her be able to check herself in the car many times. But I still wouldn't push a 3yo who doesn't want to.
     

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