Children with diabetes are more likely to get sick. This is because diabetes weakens the immune system, which the body’s defense against infection.
Diabetes is harder to control when your child is sick. The body releases hormones to help fight the illness. These hormones affect the way your child’s body uses insulin, which can cause a rise in blood sugar. This means blood sugar can get very high during an illness. If high blood sugar is not treated, it can make your child very sick and become a life-threatening medical emergency.
It is good to be prepared for illness with a sick-day plan. Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop a plan designed especially for your child. The plan may include:
Your child may also need to check for ketones in the blood or urine. If the body does not make enough insulin, sugar cannot move out of your child’s blood and into the cells. Your child’s blood sugar can get very high and his body burns fat instead of sugar for energy. This makes byproducts called ketones. When ketones build up to dangerous levels, it is called ketoacidosis. This can cause coma or death if not treated right away. Ketoacidosis may happen with type 1 diabetes. It rarely happens with type 2 diabetes.
You can help prevent some infections if you:
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