Diabetes Education for Pediatrics

A father helping his daughter with a finger prick A1C test

What to Expect During your Child’s Initial Admission for Diabetes

Our goal is to prepare you to care for your child when you leave the hospital.
  • Parents need to remain at the bedside so you can actively participate in all education sessions. At least one parent must be present at each meal. You will learn how to test glucose and give insulin.
  • Call room service to order your child’s meal at least one hour before mealtime. We suggest you call for breakfast before 7 a.m., lunch by 11 a.m. and dinner by 4 p.m. This allows your nurses to prepare for a blood sugar test and an insulin shot before the meal.
  • Children will participate with education based on their readiness and developmental age.
  • If you are caring for other children, arrange for someone to care for them during hospitalization if possible. This will allow for more focused teaching moments.
Prior to Discharge, the Following Diabetes Care Skills Need to be Demonstrated.
  • Know when and how to test blood sugar
  • Count carbohydrates before meals
  • Calculate insulin dose
  • Give insulin shot
  • Verbalize when and how to check ketones
  • Verbalize how to treat a low glucose
  • Know when and how to give emergency glucagon

You will receive more education at your first outpatient clinic visit.

Contact Information and Medications

Diabetes mediactions

Keep this card in your wallet to always have your important contact information and list of medications on hand.

Contact Card

Tarjeta de Contacto

Diabetes Emergency Preparation

Diabetes emergency checklist

Download the below checklist of essential items to have in the case of an extended emergency.


Lista de Emergencias

Diabetes Travel Essentials

Diabetes travel checklist

Download the below list of travel essentials to keep you safe and healthy when on the go.


Lista de Emergencias

Understanding Diabetes and Insulin

How the Body Normally Gets Energy
  1. After you eat, digestion breaks down carbohydrates from your food into a fuel called glucose (a type of sugar).
  2. Glucose leaves the digestive system and enters the bloodstream. This starts to raise the body’s blood sugar level.
  3. Glucose travels to the cells to be burned as fuel. When it arrives, it needs help to get into the cells.
  4. For glucose to enter the cells, insulin is needed. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas.
    • Insulin works like a key to unlock the cells, so sugar can get into the cells and give your body energy and keep your blood sugars level.
When You Have Type 1 Diabetes

Insulin Deficiency

    • Your pancreas stops making insulin.
Why Type 2 Diabetes is Different

Insulin Resistance

A person with Type 2 Diabetes is still making insulin. Their body isn’t able to use insulin the correct way.

  • Without insulin, glucose can’t enter the cells to be burned for energy.
  • The sugar builds up in your bloodstream causing higher and higher blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia).
  • Without insulin to allow glucose to enter the cells, the body has to burn fat instead. Burning fat produces a waste product called ketones.

Hemoglobin A1CHemoglobin A1C

What is the Hemoglobin a1c (HbA1c) Test?
  • Average blood sugar for the past three months.
  • Measures the amount of glucose (sugar) that sticks to a protein called hemoglobin.
  • Hemoglobin (Hb) is found in red blood cells and carries oxygen.
  • More glucose sticks to the blood cells when blood sugars are high.
What does the result mean?
  • Normal HbA1c for a person without diabetes is less than 5.7%.
  • The goal for children with Type 1 Diabetes is less than 7%. This is an average glucose goal of less than 154mg/dl.
  • Your child will likely need an A1c test about once every three months.
  • The A1c test tells you if your child’s diabetes is well controlled.
Insulin types and actions

There are two different types of insulin that your child will receive to treat Type 1 Diabetes. They are rapid acting insulin and long acting insulin (basal insulin).

  • Rapid Acting Insulin = Humalog/Novolog/Admelog
    • This insulin is given at meal times or with a snack. It is also used to treat high blood sugars.
      Humalog = Hungry
  • Long Acting Insulin = Lantus/Basaglar/Tresiba
    • This insulin should be taken at the same time every day. Usually this is at dinnertime. If you usually take your shot at 9 p.m. then you can inject as early as 8:30 p.m. or as late as 9:30 p.m.
      Lantus = Long

Diabetes Management

Other Resources

Download the Full Guide

two children embracing and smiling

Download the complete Diabetes Education for Pediatrics guide for information to help during your child’s initial admission for diabetes.

Download Guide

Descargar Guía