Caring for a Young Child With Type 1 Diabetes

Coping with a child’s type 1 diabetes

Chances are, you weren't expecting your child to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Many people are surprised when they get this news. According to recent information, each year more than 15,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. That’s more than 40 kids each and every day. It may help you to know that you are not alone. 

Over time, managing diabetes does get easier. After a while, everyone in the family may feel more comfortable with it. Even though the diabetes will not go away, things will start to feel more normal.


Type 1 diabetes diet for young children 

You may know healthy eating is important. But it may be tougher to explain that to a young child, who’s more interested in candy than carrots. Explain to your child that food affects their body a little differently, and that certain foods will make them feel better while others may not. 

Keep tabs on your child’s school lunches. Explain to your child’s school or preschool that your child has diabetes. See if they can make special arrangements. Or it may be better to pack your child’s lunches. That way you’re sending your child to school with healthy food you know they like. 


Starting school or daycare

Most daycare and preschool facilities are already familiar with diabetes care. Many are required by law to meet your child's diabetes care needs. 

Putting your child's care plan in writing is always a good idea. This way, everyone will know what to expect and how to help. Here are some of the plans that are available to help: 

Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP) — A plan that spells out the medical care your child should receive at school, including information about blood sugar checking, meals and snacks, insulin, and emergency care. 

Section 504 Plan — The next step after a DMMP is the Section 504 Plan. It is developed by the school to make sure your child’s needs are met. 

Learn more about these plans at 

Download sample forms by visiting the American Diabetes Association website at 

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