Diabetes in Infants

Although more common in adults, diabetes can affect infants as well. Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in infants, but type 2 diabetes has also been seen in children.

The diagnosis and management of diabetes can often be difficult since infants are unable to voice the symptoms they are experiencing. However, there are still steps that parents and doctors can take to accurately diagnose and treat these children.

Symptoms

The key signs that an infant may have diabetes:

  • irritability
  • sweating
  • trembling
  • vomiting
  • rapid breathing
  • blueish tinge to lips and fingers
  • dehydration

If your child exhibits some or all of these signs, it is advised to take him or her to the primary care physician. The doctor will then test the infant's urine and blood for glucose levels. Often the initial treatment of these symptoms will be rehydrating solution or cold preparation until the official diagnosis of diabetes is made.

Diabetes Management

Once the diagnosis of diabetes is confirmed, the parents will be responsible for monitoring glucose levels of their infant at least twice a day. The parents may have to give insulin injections. The type, dosage, and frequency of these injections is determined by the physician. In order to alleviate the stress of the tests and injections, parents are encouraged to speak to their babies in a soothing voice and distract them while administering the treatments.

In addition, it is helpful for parents not to perform the tests in the baby's crib so the environment does not become associated with that experience. Throughout this process, parents are encouraged to consult with a pediatric diabetologist, pediatric endocrinologist, or a diabetes care team to help with the day-to-day management of diabetes.

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