Diabetes: When to Call the Doctorenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-diabetesCallDoc-enHD-AR1.jpgCaring for a child with diabetes includes knowing when to get medical help. Learn more about when to call the doctor.when to call the doctor, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, getting medical help, medical emergencies, diabetes emergencies, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, glucagon, emergency symptoms, when to call 911, my child is having a diabetes emergency, ketone levels, blood glucose levels, injuries, surgeries, diabetes medicines, behavioral problems, emotional problems, my child with diabetes is taking drugs, my child with diabetes is drinking alcohol, depression, sadness, medical identification bracelet, diabetes problems04/01/200506/05/201806/05/2018Steven Dowshen, MD06/01/20185fc3393c-7b34-4629-9843-65c2c2a21b79https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-doctor.html/<p>Part of caring for a child with diabetes is knowing when to get medical help. As you gain experience in helping your child manage diabetes, you'll become more confident about how to handle all kinds of health issues.</p> <h3>Calling for Help</h3> <p>Whether your child has <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/type1.html/">type 1</a> or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/type2.html/">type 2</a> diabetes, the diabetes management plan provides instructions about what to do when your child is sick, hurt, or having a diabetes problem. Who you'll call for help will&nbsp;depend on a variety of things, like the symptoms and their severity.</p> <p>For most medical problems, you should first call your child's primary care doctor, such as a pediatrician or family doctor. Whether you need to ask a question or make an appointment, the doctor can advise you.</p> <p>In some cases, however, the diabetes management plan might direct you to other members of the diabetes health care team, such as a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/endocrinologist.html/">pediatric endocrinologist</a>, nurse, or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cde.html/">certified diabetes educator</a>.</p> <p>If you think the situation is an emergency, call 911 or take your child to the emergency department. But first give emergency treatments as you've been instructed &mdash; such as&nbsp;giving a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/def-glucagon.html/">glucagon</a> injection for a severe <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hypoglycemia.html/">low blood sugar reaction</a> &mdash; before calling the doctor&nbsp;or rushing to the emergency department.</p> <h3>What to Tell the Health Care Team</h3> <p>When you call, you might be asked about your child's:</p> <ul> <li>symptoms</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/glucose-level.html/">blood glucose level</a></li> <li>urine or blood&nbsp;<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ketones.html/">ketone</a> level</li> <li>temperature</li> <li>most recent food and drinks</li> <li>medicines (and your pharmacist's phone number)</li> <li>diabetes health care team's contact information</li> </ul> <h3>If Your Child Is Sick or Injured</h3> <p>If your child is ill (especially with a&nbsp;fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) or has a problem eating or drinking, call your doctor.</p> <p>Also notify the doctor and other members of the diabetes health care team if your child:</p> <ul> <li>has had a significant injury (more than a minor cut, scrape, or bump)</li> <li>needs surgery (especially if it interferes with eating or involves <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anesthesia-basics.html/">anesthesia</a> or sedation)</li> <li>has been prescribed new medicines (some can affect blood glucose levels)</li> </ul> <h3>Getting Help for Diabetes Problems</h3> <p>Your diabetes management plan may direct you to call your doctor or get emergency medical care if your child has diabetes problems such as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/def-hyperglycemia.html/">hyperglycemia</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ketoacidosis.html/">ketoacidosis</a>, or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/def-hypoglycemia.html/">hypoglycemia</a>.</p> <h4>Hyperglycemia</h4> <p>Hyperglycemia is when&nbsp;the blood glucose level is too high. Your child could have this for several reasons, such as not receiving enough insulin; eating or drinking large amounts of sugar- or carbohydrate-containing foods; or if ill, injured, or under physical or emotional stress.</p> <p><strong><em>Call the doctor if:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li>blood sugar levels are staying higher than the target ranges set by&nbsp;the diabetes team, especially if your child has symptoms of very high blood sugar, like increased thirst and urination</li> <li>in addition to high blood sugar levels, your child has ketones in the urine, a sign of possible diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)</li> </ul> <h4>Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)</h4> <p>High levels of ketones make the blood more acidic, a condition known as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hyperglycemia.html/">diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)</a>. <strong>Ketoacidosis is a severe, life-threatening condition that needs immediate medical care.</strong></p> <p>In most cases, DKA happens when a person with diabetes isn't getting enough insulin (so blood sugar levels are usually high, too) or is stressed by illness or injury. When the body can't use glucose for fuel, it breaks down fat for energy instead. When fat is broken down, the body produces chemicals called ketones, which appear in the blood and urine (pee).</p> <p><strong><em>Get medical care right away</em></strong> if your child has ketones in the pee and symptoms or signs of DKA like:</p> <ul> <li>belly pain</li> <li>nausea or vomiting</li> <li>deep, fast breathing</li> <li>extreme drowsiness or confusion</li> <li>loss of consciousness (passing out)</li> </ul> <h4>Hypoglycemia</h4> <p>Hypoglycemia is when the blood glucose level is too low. People are more likely to have hypoglycemia (also called low blood sugar) if they don't eat enough, if they take too much glucose-lowering medicine (such as insulin), or if they exercise more than usual.</p> <p><strong><em>You should suspect hypoglycemia</em></strong> if your child feels:</p> <ul> <li>extremely hungry</li> <li>shaky</li> <li>sweaty</li> <li>weak</li> <li>drowsy</li> <li>dizzy</li> </ul> <p>If you can, do a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/glucose-meter.html/">blood sugar test</a> to confirm that the symptoms are due to low blood sugar. But if you can't test&nbsp;immediately, don't delay treating your child's symptoms &mdash; you can always check the blood sugar after the level is back up into the normal range.</p> <p>The diabetes management plan should include instructions on how to recognize and treat hypoglycemia. Always treat hypoglycemia first, then call the doctor if you have questions or concerns.</p> <p><strong><em>Give your child a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/def-glucagon.html/">glucagon</a> injection immediately</em></strong> (according to the instructions in the diabetes management plan) if your child has symptoms of severe hypoglycemia, such as:</p> <ul> <li>confusion</li> <li>loss of consciousness (passing out)</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/seizure.html/">seizures</a></li> </ul> <p>Trying to give your child sugary foods, drinks, or glucose tablets may be very difficult or even dangerous in this situation. Don't delay treatment by trying to call a doctor or ambulance.</p> <p>After getting a glucagon injection for a severe low blood sugar episode, a child should wake up within 10 to 15 minutes and be able to eat or take sugar or glucose tablets to help prevent the blood sugar from falling again. If your child doesn't respond to the glucagon injection, call 911.</p> <p><strong><em>Contact the doctor or diabetes team</em></strong> <strong><em>if:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li>your child has had a severe low blood sugar episode (after you have treated it)</li> <li>your child is having more frequent or unexplained episodes of hypoglycemia</li> </ul> <p>If your child is having problems with hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, contact the diabetes health care team to discuss whether changes in treatment are needed.</p> <h3>Behavioral and Emotional Issues</h3> <p>Some psychological or social issues can be signs of&nbsp;a serious mental health problem that could affect a child's diabetes management. These need medical attention right away.</p> <p>Call your doctor if your child has symptoms of <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-depression.html/">depression</a> or another mental health problem, such as:</p> <ul> <li>lasting sadness</li> <li>lack of energy</li> <li>feelings of irritability, anger, or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anxiety-disorders.html/">anxiety</a></li> <li>problems with&nbsp;concentration</li> <li>changes in sleeping or eating habits</li> <li>thoughts about death or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/suicide.html/">suicide</a></li> </ul> <p>Call your doctor if you think your child:</p> <ul> <li>might be abusing <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/talk-about-drugs.html/">drugs</a> or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/alcohol.html/">alcohol</a></li> <li>has become withdrawn, depressed, or tired</li> <li>is hostile or uncooperative</li> <li>drops his or her old friends</li> <li>loses interest in or drastically changes his or her appearance</li> <li>loses interest in hobbies, sports, or other favorite activities</li> </ul> <p>It's also important to let the doctor or diabetes health care team know if you suspect that your child is not complying with the diabetes plan &mdash; for example, not eating or not taking medicine at school.</p> <p>You don't have to handle problems like these alone &mdash; in fact, for your child's health, it's important to share this information with the doctor.</p> <h3>When You're Not Around</h3> <p>What if your child needs medical help when you're not around? To prepare your child and other caregivers:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Make sure your child always wears a medical identification bracelet or necklace that identifies his or her condition.</li> <li>Have your child carry the necessary testing supplies, treatments, and contact information whenever away from home or out of your care.</li> <li>Let your child know it's OK to call a doctor or 911 for urgent medical problems.</li> <li>Make sure all teachers and caregivers &mdash; such as babysitters, adults at friends' houses, school staff, relatives, and coaches &mdash; know how to identify and handle diabetes problems. Give them ;written instructions about what to do in an emergency.</li> </ul> <p>Preparing yourself, your child, and all caregivers will help you feel more confident about handling any illness or diabetes problems.</p>Diabetes: cuándo llamar al médicoPara cuidar de un niño con diabetes, es necesario, entre otras cosas, saber cuándo pedir ayuda médica. Sin importar si su niño padece de diabetes tipo 1 o 2, su programa de control de la diabetes contiene instrucciones sobre qué hacer en diferentes situaciones médicas. A medida que vaya adquiriendo experiencia en ayudar a su hijo a controlar la diabetes, se sentirá más seguro para resolver diferentes situaciones vinculadas con su salud.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/diabetes-doctor-esp.html/88f46552-d007-4503-97da-3da184850119
Carbohydrates and DiabetesIf you have diabetes, your doctor may have recommended keeping track of how many carbohydrates (carbs) you eat. But what exactly are carbs and how do they affect your blood sugar?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/carbs-diabetes.html/bc86697f-835a-4745-99eb-cd7f807b9b7b
Diabetes CenterDiabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/center/diabetes-center.html/0767277a-98f9-4541-b2f6-f3c68f43a94c
Diabetes Control: Why It's ImportantKeeping blood sugar levels under control can help keep you healthy and prevent health problems from happening down the road. Find out more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/diabetes-control.html/5ec43be3-261e-4e07-b64b-831ea38c9fbf
Diabetes: Dealing With FeelingsIf your child has diabetes, you may spend a lot of time thinking about the physical effects. But it's also important to understand the emotional issues surrounding a diabetes diagnosis.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/feelings-diabetes.html/73debeef-5466-4edc-b140-2824a238b6a7
Diabetes: When to Call the DoctorTaking care of your diabetes includes knowing when to call a doctor and get medical help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/diabetes-doctor.html/de1ff189-1169-4fee-90f1-72926c7c6921
Handling Diabetes When You're SickBeing sick is no fun for anyone. For people with diabetes, being sick can also affect blood sugar levels.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/diabetes-sick.html/69541ace-0bab-456f-a426-a3d04ed05b99
Hyperglycemia and Diabetic KetoacidosisWhen blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) are too high, it's called hyperglycemia. A major goal in controlling diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels as close to the desired range as possible.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hyperglycemia.html/604daaa3-061f-4de7-adef-81dfb8478b52
HypoglycemiaWhen blood glucose levels drop too low, it's called hypoglycemia. Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that require immediate treatment.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hypoglycemia.html/a5a7783c-d631-4896-baa4-6f28cc0d82bd
Keeping Track of Your Blood SugarTo keep your diabetes under control, stay healthy, and prevent future problems, you need to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. To do that, check and track those levels regularly.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/track-blood-sugar.html/723dff80-03a4-4bdf-a5e9-d21412553ea8
Managing Your Child's Diabetes on Sick DaysParents of kids with diabetes need to take a few extra steps to keep blood sugar levels under control on sick days.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-sick-days.html/7859fa32-6bc5-4783-9f8e-0490a4f74809
Medicines for DiabetesWhether your child is taking insulin or pills (or both) to control diabetes, it's important to learn how diabetes medicines work.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-medicines.html/25c33c76-8aa8-4ebc-a982-4c9d87dcb9b8
What Is Hypoglycemia?Lots of people wonder if they have hypoglycemia, but the condition is not common in teens. Get the facts on hypoglycemia.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/hypoglycemia.html/68e1b77a-ed33-44fb-b4d2-acd4b5bd7f7f
When Blood Sugar Is Too HighToo much glucose in the blood can be unhealthy. Learn more about what to do when blood sugar is too high in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/high-blood-sugar.html/b1f31b86-0514-439b-9289-50be0310de8b
When Blood Sugar Is Too LowHypoglycemia is the medical word for low blood sugar level. It needs to be treated right away. Learn more about what to do when blood sugar is too low in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/low-blood-sugar.html/58cf6333-fb32-4731-a3a5-8d93292e7b04
Your Child's Diabetes Health Care TeamWhen you have a child with diabetes, you and your family have a lot to learn, but you don't have to go it alone. Your child's diabetes health care team can help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-team.html/0f4d2690-4665-4073-b5ca-026fae7fc768
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-endocrinologykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-endocrinologyLiving With Diabeteshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-center/living-diabetes/5a968d25-3c67-4e70-bae8-74e297508436