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From Bunbury, Western Australia:

My 9 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 two weeks ago. He is on a combination of NPH and Regular insulin. We had asked his endocrinologist here in Australia about the pump but he recommended against it at this age.

I've since talked to other folks in the States who think it's the best thing for regulating kids. Additionally, they are recommending we do his shots until he's about 11. Would it be better to get him involved at 9 or wait?

One final question. We've been told by other diabetics Stateside that NPH and Regular are somewhat out of date for kids. There are better insulins out there that will give him tighter controls. Do you have any opinions about that?


Having worked in Australia, I know that there is wonderful pediatric diabetes care available there. Your plan of care sounds fine at this time. My advice would be to give things some time to settle down for you, as this is a very difficult stage emotionally. Medically, the diabetes care is usually fine with many different approaches during the honeymoon period. If you come to a time when your child is not doing as well as you would like, then that would be the time to intensify the regimen. (The basic regimen in diabetes care can be difficult enough.) Pumps and multiple injections will be available to your child in the future when helpful.

As far as the question of when to have a child give shots, I would be guided by your child's interests. When a child is ready they will let you know. Giving too much responsibility too early can lead to worsening of the diabetes control, as well as put a stress on your child. It would be preferable to use a "team approach" in the family to share in your child's care. If injections later become an "issue", then diabetes camp is often a safe and comfortable place for kids to give their first injection, with the support of other kids with diabetes.


[Editor's comment: NPH and Regular are not "out-of-date." Although there are many other insulin products and many other insulin programs, the exact choice of what to use has to be decided by the Diabetes Team, working in conjunction with the patient (and parents). Discuss other possible options (such as Ultralente and lispro insulin [Humalog®]) with your son's diabetes team. WWQ]

Original posting 4 Mar 1998
Posted to Insulin


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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