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High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) occurs when there is too much glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. Blood sugar that is often high causes long-term complications, so try to prevent it. And treat it quickly when it happens. High blood sugar can result from the following:
Taking too little insulin or diabetes medication
Using insulin that’s not stored properly or that’s past the expiration date
Eating too much food at once
Being less active than usual
Being under stress
A rebound in response to low blood sugar
Hormonal changes during puberty
Your child may be thirsty and need to urinate often. Severe high blood sugar may cause nausea, blurry vision, weakness, or dizziness. Encourage your child to learn to recognize the symptoms of high blood sugar and tell you about them right away. But keep in mind that sometimes there are no symptoms.
Check your child’s blood sugar.
If blood sugar is over your child’s target range, give him or her water or sugar-free and caffeine-free drinks.
If blood sugar is over 240, check your child’s blood or urine for ketones.
If your child’s blood sugar stays over 240 or your child has ketones, call the doctor.
Follow the plan given to you by your child’s healthcare providers, which may include giving extra insulin.
A moderate to high level of ketones in your child’s blood or urine is a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Follow your healthcare team’s guidelines for giving additional insulin and notifying their office. Check blood sugar often and don’t let your child exercise until ketones are back to normal. Left untreated, DKA may require hospitalization.
When your child is ill, his or her blood sugar may be higher than usual. This may be true even if he or she is not eating as much as usual. To handle this, you will develop a sick-day plan with your child’s healthcare provider. This plan will probably involve more monitoring and extra insulin. On sick days, keep in close contact with your child’s healthcare providers.
Make sure that:
Your child takes insulin on time and in the right amount.
Your child’s meals and snacks are spread throughout the day.
You follow the sick-day plan during an illness.
Insulin is stored properly so that it doesn’t spoil.