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Considering the fast growth rate of children, it is quite natural that their bodies need a constant supply of glucose to develop in a normal way, therefore the healthy blood sugar level for children is always higher than that for adults. In the case that children get high or low blood sugar levels, you should consult a doctor about whether it is healthy for your children, as every child has different needs for glucose. You should also be aware that high or low blood sugar level can indicate diabetes. If this is the condition, you first need to have clear information about the normal blood sugar for children and then do something to maintain healthy glucose levels.
Normal Blood Sugar for Kids
Normal blood sugar levels for kids vary greatly depending on their age and other life factors. Here is a table to help you get a better idea about normal blood sugar for kids of different ages.
Normal Blood Sugar Level for Kids (Unit: mg/dL)
No less than 150
No less than 150
Symptoms and Causes of Abnormal Blood Sugar in Children
Young kids may not be able to tell parents their feelings, therefore parents need to watch out for certain symptoms associated with abnormal blood sugar.
1. Low Blood Sugar Symptoms and Causes
Also called hypoglycemia, low blood sugar occurs when the glucose level in the blood drops below than what is required for the body to function properly. The most common symptoms of low blood sugar include paleness, irritability, trembling, confusion, drowsiness, slurred speech, poor coordination, excessive sweating, staggering, and eventual loss of responsiveness.
The most common causes of hypoglycemia are not eating enough food, taking too much insulin, or skipping meals. Strenuous exercise may also make the blood sugar levels to drop quickly.
2. High Blood Sugar Symptoms and Causes
Also called hyperglycemia, the most common symptoms of high blood sugar are fatigue, frequent urination, excessive thirst, irritability, headache, dehydration, nausea, and loss of appetite. Some children may also have abdominal discomfort and visual problems.
Children with diabetes will have hyperglycemia when they miss a dose of insulin or other diabetes medicine. Skipping exercise, eating too much, or being stressed are other common causes of hyperglycemia.
Testing Blood Sugar for Kids
To keep normal blood sugar for kids, it is important to learn how to test blood sugar on your own. Here are some guidelines to bear in mind.
1. When to Test
You should be checking your child’s blood sugar level at specific times:
- Before bedtime and meals
- Whenever you suspect your child’s blood glucose level is low
- Before and after physical activity
- A couple of hours after meal
- Whenever your child is not feeling well
2. How to Test
You can use a blood glucose meter to check the amount of sugar in a blood sample. Here is how to proceed:
- Use soap and water to clean your hands thoroughly. Ensure that the finger is dry before you take the blood sample, as wet fingers can change the results.
- Always prick the side of your child’s fingertip. You can prick the forearm if you are using a lancet device. But if you suspect the blood glucose level is low, do not prick the forearm.
- Take a strip and insert it into the meter.
- Get a drop of blood and apply it on the strip and read the result.
- Note it in a logbook.
Treatments for Abnormal Blood Sugar for Kids with Diabetes
1. Treating Low Blood Sugar
If your child’s blood glucose levels are low, you should take steps to raise the levels quickly. Do as the following:
- Give your child something sweet to drink or eat. This helps push blood sugar up quickly. You can give them orange juice, regular soda, glucose tablets, cake frosting, or even glucose gel.
- Wait for 10 minutes.
- Check your child’s blood sugar again and ensure it is back to normal.
In case your child’s blood sugar level gets very low, you may have to think of giving him or her a glucagon shot. Glucagon is a hormone given to bring blood sugar levels back to normal in no time. Talk to your child’s doctor and know about the situations when you should opt for a glucagon shot.
2. Treating High Blood Sugar
Before doing anything to treat high blood sugar, you should first try to investigate more about the causes of hyperglycemia. Your child may be eating more food or may not have an active lifestyle. All these factors can raise blood sugar levels.
Give insulin to your child with type-1 diabetes to treat high blood sugar level. Kids with type-2 diabetes usually require both oral and injectable medications for proper management.