Nationwide Children's Hospital recently developed an online resource to help parents manage their child's diabetes more effectively and care for their health at home. The "Diabetes Calculator for Kids," a first of its kind electronic tool geared toward the pediatric patient, allows parents, caregivers and the adolescent patient themselves to create an individualized chart which calculates the correct insulin dosage that should be given prior to eating.
Diabetes, which affects nearly 1 in every 400 children and adolescents in the United States*, is a disease that is characterized by a high blood glucose or "sugar" level. Managing a child's diabetes requires the proper balance between insulin dose, food and activity on a daily basis. It is important to keep the child's blood sugars within a target range at all times. Modern insulin therapy involves administering rapid-acting insulin before each meal and adjusting the dose based on the current blood glucose level and how much food will be eaten.
The Diabetes Calculator for Kids, available for any patient who uses insulin, creates an individualized chart for rapid-acting insulin bolus dosage in five easy steps. After the parent or patient completes those steps online, a customized chart is produced that can be emailed or printed off. It provides the parent, caregiver or patient an easy way to look up the correct insulin dosage based on current blood glucose, without having to do the math each time.
"The goal is to provide an additional tool to empower families to successfully manage their child's diabetes at home in order to provide as normal a life as possible for that child," said David Repaske, MD, PhD, chief of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes at Nationwide Children's and also a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. "The chart can also be printed out and taken to school or given to a sitter to ensure accurate insulin dosing without the need to learn the formula and do the math for each dose."
Nationwide Children's always recommends that parents consult with their child's physician first with any questions related to their child's individual diabetes management plan.