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What to use to test? Alcohol, wash hands, nothing?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Arleigh9003, May 4, 2013.

  1. Arleigh9003

    Arleigh9003 Approved members

    Jan 29, 2013
    I might be getting a little ridiculous .. But I always freak out when I'm out and my hands are not clean that I am infecting the entire bottle of test strips.. So I try to strategically take out the strip .. I also worry that if i just ate something sweet and am blowing on his finger to dry the alcohol am i just spraying it with sugar lol? but seriously is that possible?! I'm sure I'm over thinking this lol
    And then curious how you test? I use alcholic swaps , honestly because my son is only two and bringing him to wash his hands a billion times a day.. That's crazy talk to a mobile two year old who has better things to do! If I get a weird high number I wash his hands and test again bc I've heard if the alcohol isn't dry it can give a false high. Just wondering what everyone else uses to test? I've heard some people don't use anything! Isn't that kinda crazy!? Wouldn't u get a bad read???
    Thanks everyone and I apologize for my craziness ! Lol
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  2. dzirbel

    dzirbel Approved members

    Jun 24, 2011
    My daughter has just recently decided to not use alcohol swabs but that drives me crazy! If I put them in her bag she will use them, but otherwise she just tests. I too am like you when I take out a strip! I will tip the bottle over to try to get one to slide out so I don't touch all of them. :D
  3. Anyelday

    Anyelday Approved members

    Jan 3, 2013
    I am the same way with the strips and if I blow on her finger. LOL I always wash my hands and we encourage my daughter (5) to wash before meals and sometimes if we check in between I use will wipe them off with something to make sure they are clean. I also recheck any high numbers but would like to avoid false readings because I feel like I am sliding my atm card into the meter instead of a test strip- too expensive to waste. I have asked others about cleaning and testing when out and about/ playing and it seems that some may not always wash or use an alcohol swab when testing during activities.
  4. CAGrandma

    CAGrandma Approved members

    Mar 14, 2006
    In the past 8 years we've done a LOT of testing. In the beginning we did use alcohol and still do if his hands are really disgusting. Otherwise nothing and he seems fine. Remember the blood goes onto a tiny little piece of the strip, it is a liquid, and that is what is being tested.
    Diagnosed at age 2, now 10.
  5. ecs1516

    ecs1516 Approved members

    Dec 11, 2007
    98% time we always use alcohol wipes for the past 13 years. I was always afraid if I didn't we would get incorrect results or infection. One time they did not wipe the figure well it was off by 200 points.
    We keep one tissue in bit to wipe off blood. We use that all day. Looks nasty by end of day!
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  6. SandiT

    SandiT Approved members

    Mar 30, 2013
    No one can advise you to do other than what the doctor has stated. If the doc said use the alcohol pads, use them. ;)

    That being said, because that has to be said...

    I had gestational diabetes while pregnant with my now t1d daughter. I swabbed and I did everything JUST SO. I was soooo determined to do it RIGHT.

    Then hubby got t2d. The swabbing sort of tapered off a little.

    Now we have #3 in a manner of speaking... and it's pretty much "let's just get it done." We swab if she's filthy. We swab if we're out somewhere and don't want to make other people uncomfortable. But mostly we just git 'er done. However, the unspoken advantage, and one of the reasons I use the swabs more often than I was there for a while, is that there's a convenient place/way to wipe the blood away. Those swabs, depending where you get them, can be cheaper than nose tissues, which we were using for a bit.

    On the other hand, nose tissues are so quick. :cool:
  7. mmgirls

    mmgirls Approved members

    Nov 28, 2008
    First take the strips out with clean hands and flip them around in the bottle so that you are first touching the part that goes into the meter not the testing area.

    Second you have to do what is your best care choice when you can. I think washing hands with soap and water is the best.

    DRY very well.

    If we can not wash, then we have a unscented baby wipe in a snack size zip lock and a tissue. we clean the finger to be tested and dry with the tissue also using the tissue to wipe up any extra blood. This has worked for over 7years since she was 13months old at DX.
  8. nebby3

    nebby3 Approved members

    Jun 5, 2007
    My dd has had D for alomost 10 yrs. We don't use anything. If we get a really unexpected number we wash hands (if possible) and recheck. But most of the time I feel the #s are pretty accurate even though we don't do anything. I will tell her to wask first if I know there is something sweet like watermelon juice on her hands.
  9. cdninct

    cdninct Approved members

    Jul 29, 2011
    If we are at home, I generally wipe him down with a damp cloth. If he is really mucky, I send him off to wash his hands properly. While we are out, he often just licks his finger. Alcohol wipes are too drying for K, so we stopped using them pretty quickly. In fact, I don't think we were ever advised to use them. Our instructions were for soap and water.
  10. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Jun 24, 2010
    No, you're not crazy. A little "Type A" perhaps, but not crazy. You're definitely not the first one to worry about all of those things. :)

    We don't use anything, but DS is 11 and doesn't always have sticky fingers like a 2 year old does. If he has a high that we didn't expect, we wash and retest. Pretty standard. If he has already touched food before remembering to test I'll usually ask him to wash before he tests.

    But you should do what you think is right, not what we do.
  11. Darryl

    Darryl Approved members

    May 8, 2008
    My dd never uses alcohol, she just rises and dries her hands. I don't think you can infect a test strip, you can just get a bad BG reading if you haven't rinsed off the hands. If there was a lot of sugar on the fingers, like from eating a piece a fruit, the alcohol will surely disinfect the apple juice but won't necessarily remove 100% of the sugar. Rinsing is much better IMO.
  12. Nana'sMom

    Nana'sMom New Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    Alcohol Spray

    I use a triclosan-free ethyl alcohol spray (because it's presumably gentler on the skin) and wipe the finger dry with a pocket tissue.

    After piercing the skin with the lance, I wipe off the first tiny drop of blood that comes out and then squeeze out a little bit more blood to put on the test strip. Saw the nurses do this to my DD at the hospital. It's to make sure that the blood sample is clean.

    Then, I press down on the pierced finger using the same tissue above. Since the tissue is dry, there's no stinging sensation like when an alcohol swab is used to apply pressure.

    Of course, if my DD's hands are obviously filthy, she has to wash her hands with soap and water.
  13. jilmarie

    jilmarie Approved members

    Jan 29, 2007
    There was actually a study in 2011 about wiping the first drop vs testing the first drop of blood under different conditions.


    I personally rinse my hands with water if I've been touching food, but otherwise just test. I retest a number that seems unusually high after washing my hands, but it's typically just a high blood sugar and not food residue :eek:
  14. hdm42

    hdm42 Approved members

    May 1, 2008
    My son washes his hands with soap & water when he can. If not, we almost always have baby wipes (the sensitive skin, fragrance-free ones) in the car or in the bag.
  15. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

    Sep 10, 2006
    I do not use alcohol wipes on my hands, ever. I wash my hands when possible. That's happened a whole lot more since I started CGMing and don't need to poke RIGHT NOW particularly often- it can wait until I can wash my hands.
  16. jellybeanasmommy

    jellybeanasmommy Approved members

    Apr 10, 2013
    Very interesting! Thanks!

    We use alcohol swabs every time and allow to dry completely before testing. If we get an abnormal result we may retest.

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