Caring for children with diabetes doesn’t have to cause sleepless nights; learn to manage their condition overnight and prevent episodes of nocturnal hypoglycemia.
If your child has been diagnosed with diabetes, your mind is likely working overtime regarding how to best manage their health. You might even be worried about potential hypoglycemia while they sleep. Thankfully, with careful planning, you can put your worries to rest. Read on to learn more about nocturnal hypoglycemia and the need for nighttime checks on your child with diabetes.
Nocturnal Hypoglycemia Explained
Hypoglycemia occurs when the body’s blood glucose levels are too low. The term nocturnal hypoglycemia simply refers to the same occurrence during nighttime sleep. This condition is potentially very dangerous. While an episode of nocturnal hypoglycemia may wake your child up, it doesn’t always do so. If it occurs, wake the child, if not already up, and treat with fast-acting carbs like glucose tablets or gel.
If left untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to your child experiencing seizures or even a coma. Because nighttime is the longest period of time your child is ‘unsupervised,’ doctors agree you should take a look at your child’s numbers every night before bed.
What a Bedtime Routine Looks Like
Your child likely already has a pre-bedtime routine that might involve a bath and a book or two. Go ahead and add a blood sugar check to the list. You should check your child’s levels every night not only for safety reasons, but also to track blood glucose patterns. Your child’s level should be 100 mg/dl or higher, but his physician can provide a more specific 'safe range’ depending on various criteria, including your child’s age, activity, and any illness.
Prevention is Key
If your child’s blood glucose is between 70 and 100 mg/dl at bedtime, give them a snack with 10 to 15 g of carbs, in addition to a little fat and protein. This will help keep levels stable all night. Some snack ideas include cheese and crackers, fresh fruit and cottage cheese.
Don’t Forget Nighttime Checks
In addition to checking levels before bed, you should also check them two hours after bedtime and at 3 a.m. Before you start wondering when you’ll ever get sleep again, understand these two checks during the night are only required until you establish a ‘stable dose.’ Then, continue to do the 3 a.m. check just once per week and whenever your child changes medication, dosage, or has increased activity. You’ll also want to add a nighttime check on the days your child is ill or had a unique meal.
What to Do if Hypoglycemia Occurs
If your child does experience nocturnal hypoglycemia, after treating it and then adjusting insulin levels the next day, make sure you discuss it with your child’s physician. Also, be sure to have a glucagon kit on hand just in case. Glucagon raises blood sugar levels quickly when someone is unconscious due to hypoglycemia. Although you may never use it, the kit is a good insurance policy in the event of a severe hypoglycemia incident.
Though it might at first seem overwhelming, keeping your child’s diabetes in check is very manageable. At Focus Express Mail Pharmacy, we can answer any questions you have about your child’s medications, diabetes supplies, insulin pump and insulin pump supplies recommended for children. Let us help by calling 1-866-403-6287 or by visiting us online at www.FocusPharmacy.com . And, Check out The NightTime Cold Sweat Alarm!