Children with type 1 diabetes

Children with diabetes should participate in their treatment to the extent that is fitting for their age and experience with the disease.

  • Very young children usually aren't able to do tasks for diabetes care such as giving insulin or checking blood sugar. However, by the age of 4, children generally cooperate with these tasks.
  • Children in elementary school can cooperate in all tasks required for their care. By age 8, children can test their blood sugar level with supervision.
  • Children in middle school or junior high school should be able to test their own blood sugar level, but they may need help during low blood sugar episodes. By age 10, some children can give insulin shots with supervision.
  • Teens should be able to handle their care with appropriate supervision. Teens may choose to use an insulin pump instead of shots. If they choose to use a pump, they still need supervision from adults.

When your child with diabetes begins school (or attends a child care center), you and the staff will work together to develop a plan of care with instructions for handling your child's special needs. Children can participate fully in all school activities while still receiving the supervision and care they need. See a diabetes care plan for children attending a child care center or school for information about developing a care plan for your child.

Last Updated: December 3, 2008

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