From Oregon, USA:
At what age should diabetes education begin? Are there formal curricula for educating young children?
"Diabetes Education" starts when the child first gets diabetes. The child should be included in the process at the appropriate developmental level. It is important to assess the child's understanding and concerns. Children pick up a lot from just being around the health care team, even when we don't address them directly. They may also completely misunderstand what they hear.
For young children, the parent or guardian is responsible for the skills, knowledge, and carrying-out of the diabetes care. The school-age child takes on more of the skills, but won't have the maturity to completely take-over the diabetes care until well into the teen-age years. A step-by-step process is usually safest in transferring over the responsibility. It is very difficult to balance letting the child become an independent adult with the day-to-day safety and medical concerns. When a teen is diagnosed with diabetes, we would include the teen and the parent/guardian in the education process. We would encourage the family to be a team in the diabetes care.
We would encourage families to seek out diabetes camps and diabetes groups for the children/teens.
Original posting 23 Jul 1998
Posted to Daily Care
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:57
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