Blood Glucose Monitoring in Children

Blood Glucose Monitoring in Children

Monitoring your child’s blood sugar (glucose) is an important part of managing your child’s diabetes (diabetes mellitus).

Blood glucose monitoring involves checking blood glucose as often as directed and keeping a record (log) of the results over time.

Checking your child’s blood glucose regularly and keeping a blood glucose log can:

  • Help you and your child’s health care provider adjust your child’s diabetes management plan as needed, including medicines or insulin.
  • Help you and your child understand how food, exercise, illnesses, and medicines affect blood glucose.
  • Let you and your child know what your child’s blood glucose is at any time. You can quickly find out if your child has low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) or high blood glucose (hyperglycemia).

Your child’s health care provider will set individualized treatment goals for your child’s blood glucose levels before meals (preprandial) and after meals (postprandial).

Supplies needed:

  • Blood glucose meter.
  • Test strips for your child’s meter. Each meter has its own strips. You must use the strips that come with your child’s meter.
  • A needle to prick the finger (lancet). Do notuse a lancet more than one time.
  • A device that holds the lancet (lancing device).
  • A journal or log book to write down the results.

How to check your child’s blood glucose

  1. Wash your hands and your child’s hands with soap and water.
  2. Prick the side of your child’s finger (not the tip) with the lancet. Use a different finger each time.
  3. Gently rub the finger until a small drop of blood appears.
  4. Follow instructions that came with the meter for inserting the test strip, applying blood to the strip, and using the blood glucose meter.
  5. Write down the result and any notes.

Some meters allow you to use areas of your child’s body other than the finger (alternative sites) to test the blood. The most common alternative sites are:

  • Forearm.
  • Thigh.
  • Palm of the hand.

If you think your child may have hypoglycemia, or if your child has a history of not knowing when his or her blood glucose is getting low (hypoglycemia unawareness), do notuse alternative sites. Use the finger instead. Alternative sites may not be as accurate as the fingers, because blood flow is slower in these areas. This means that the result may be delayed, and it may be different from the result that you would get from the finger.

Follow these instructions at home:

Blood glucose log

  • Every time you check your child’s blood glucose, write down the result. Also write down any notes about things that may be affecting your child’s blood glucose, such as diet and exercise for the day. This information can help you and your health care provider:
    • Look for patterns in your child’s blood glucose over time.
    • Adjust your child’s diabetes management plan as needed.

Check if your child’s meter allows you to download records to a computer. Most glucose meters store a record of glucose readings in the meter.

If your child has type 1 diabetes:

  • Check your child’s blood glucose 4 or more times a day.
  • Also check your child’s blood glucose:
    • Before every insulin injection.
    • Before and after exercise.
    • Between meals.
    • 2 hours after a meal.
    • Occasionally between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., as directed.
    • Before potentially dangerous activities, like riding a bike or driving, if this applies.
    • At bedtime.
  • You may need to check your child’s blood glucose more often, up to 6–10 times a day, if your child:
    • Uses an insulin pump.
    • Needs multiple daily injections (MDI).
    • Has diabetes that is not well-controlled.
    • Is ill.
    • Has a history of severe hypoglycemia.
    • Has hypoglycemia unawareness.

If your child has type 2 diabetes:

  • If your child takes insulin, check his or her blood glucose before every insulin injection, or check it 4 or more times a day.
    • If your child is on intensive insulin therapy, you may also occasionally need to check his or her blood glucose between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., as directed.
  • If your child takes diabetes medicines by mouth (oral medicines), check his or her blood glucose 2 or more times a day.
  • Also check your child’s blood glucose:
    • Before and after exercise.
    • Before potentially dangerous activities, like riding a bike or driving, if this applies.
  • You may need to check your child’s blood glucose more often if:
    • Your child’s medicine is being adjusted.
    • Your child’s diabetes is not well-controlled.
    • Your child is ill.

General tips

  • Make sure your child always has his or her supplies available.
  • If you have questions or need help, all blood glucose meters have a 24-hour “hotline” phone number that you can call. You may also contact your child’s health care provider.
  • After you use a few boxes of test strips, adjust (calibrate) your child’s blood glucose meter by following instructions that came with the meter.

Contact a health care provider if:

  • Your child’s blood glucose is out of his or her healthy range. Your child’s health care provider will tell you when you should contact a health care provider in these cases.
  • Your child develops a serious illness.
  • Your child has been sick or has had a fever for 2 days or longer, and he or she is not getting better.
  • Your child cannot eat or drink.
  • Your child has nausea or vomiting.
  • Your child has diarrhea.

Get help right away if:

  • Your child’s blood glucose is lower than 54 mg/dL (3 mmol/L).
  • Your child becomes confused or has trouble thinking clearly.
  • Your child has difficulty breathing.
  • Your child has moderate or large ketone levels in his or her urine.

Summary

  • Monitoring your child’s blood sugar (glucose) is an important part of managing your child’s diabetes.
  • Blood glucose monitoring involves checking blood glucose as often as directed and keeping a record (log) of the results over time.
  • Your child’s health care provider will set individualized treatment goals for your child’s blood glucose levels before meals (preprandial) and after meals (postprandial).
  • Every time you check your child’s blood glucose, write down the result. Also write down any notes about things that may be affecting your child’s blood glucose, such as diet and exercise for the day.
15585

Sign up to receive the trending updates and tons of Health Tips

Join SeekhealthZ and never miss the latest health information

15856
Scroll to Top