Diabetes in Children: Treating Low Blood Sugar
If your child takes insulin or certain diabetes pills that lower blood sugar, their blood sugar may get too low at times. Low blood sugar may happen if your child:
- Takes too much insulin or other diabetes medicine.
- Skips or delays a meal or snack.
- Is more physically active than usual without eating enough food.
- Takes a medicine that can lower blood sugar as a side effect.
- Starts a menstrual period. This causes hormonal changes that may affect how well insulin works.
Low blood sugar levels can develop rapidly, within minutes. Treat low blood sugar symptoms as soon as you or your child notices them.
How do you deal with low blood sugar?
Being prepared can help your child avoid a low blood sugar emergency. Here are some things you can do.
- If possible, use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). This helps predict when your child's blood sugar gets low.
- Keep quick-sugar food handy. This includes glucose tablets, fruit juice, and hard candy (such as Life Savers).
- Know the symptoms of low blood sugar, such as sweating, shakiness, blurred vision, dizziness, and confusion.
- Check your child's blood sugar often. Keep a record of low blood sugar levels and share them with your child's doctor.
- Show other caregivers how to check your child's blood sugar. Teach them the symptoms of low blood sugar and what to do when your child's blood sugar is low.
- Have your child wear a medical alert ID at all times.
- Have your child carry glucagon with them. Be sure that other caregivers know how to give glucagon.
Treat low blood
Follow these steps when your child's blood sugar level is below the target range (usually below 70 mg/dL). Share treatment instructions with your child's family, friends, and teachers.
Current as of:
April 13, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Stephen LaFranchi MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
Current as of: April 13, 2022
John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Stephen LaFranchi MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology