An estimated 15,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year, and Jen Block, FNP, CDE, a family nurse practitioner at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, is among those who cares for patients and educates families dealing with the disease. In a new Q&A, Block, who has diabetes herself, provides tips for parents on such things as how to spot warning signs in a child and what to look for in an endocrinologist.
Additionally, she offers this advice for adults on modeling behavior to encourage a positive outlook for a child who has diabetes:
Young children view the disease through the lens of the parents and the health-care providers they interact with. If they are scared, then the child will be too. Emphasize to children that they can still live the life they want, even if they have diabetes. In fact, to build my patients’ confidence I tell them that in many ways they are stronger and braver because they are taking on the tasks their body did without intervention prior to the diabetes diagnosis.
In addition, it is important to meet other patient families with diabetes so that there is a network of support. Managing diabetes well can be done as long as a family has the tools and the support that they need.
Previously: Can a series of DNA vaccine shots halt type-1 diabetes progression?, Screening for type-1 diabetes trials goes online and Researchers struggle to explain rise of Type 1 diabetes
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