With the passage of time, children with diabetes will one day grow up, bid farewell to pediatricians and report to the endocrinology department where adults see doctors.
Some parents may feel that their past experience in pediatrics is more secure and worried about the treatment afterwards. Dr. Clove gives you the following suggestions, hoping that parents will be prepared psychologically and physically in advance.
The requirements have changed and they need support.
The transition from an old health management model to a new one is like graduating from high school to college. Teenagers are the strongest, oldest and smartest in the original treatment group, but after entering the adult world, they become the youngest and least experienced novices in this larger and more different environment in a short time.
In different health education for children and adults, medical staff have different expectations for teenagers’ self-management and self-control ability. In the adult system, people think that young people can gradually be fully responsible for themselves.
When teenagers enter the adult system, they are mostly surprised by the many requirements imposed on them:
- The stage of growth and development has passed, and they need to change their diet plan. Compared with their youth, some young people are no longer as lively and active as before, so they need to consciously carry out more regular and systematic physical exercises to consume extra calories. With the increase of age, the risk of diabetic complications also increases. Therefore, they need to start monitoring blood pressure and go to ophthalmology frequently for examination. Daily foot care is also important for preventing infection and early detection of nerve injury.
If they cannot control their blood sugar well, they also need to increase the frequency of insulin injection and blood sugar monitoring in order to control blood sugar more strictly.
There are so many such demands that teenagers who have just started (entering the new care model) may be completely at a loss. Some young people even abandon themselves and no longer carry out any care. During this transitional period, the support from family and friends is very important to young people.
When does the transition period begin in what?
Under ideal circumstances, when children have enough confidence and responsibility, they can begin to change into adult disease management mode.
Clinically, 16 to 20 years old are generally defined as the “transitional period”. Parents and children need to understand this in advance and be prepared.
How Helps Children Make a Smooth Transition?
During the child’s childhood and adolescence, parents can encourage him to actively participate in the specific tasks of diabetes management, which can help him make a smooth transition.
For example, parents can encourage their children to solve problems such as the choice of insulin dose, which will lay an important foundation for children to manage themselves well in adulthood.
When participating in the youth diabetes group, parents can let their children go properly, which can cultivate their independence and sense of responsibility.
Before accepting the adult disease management model, children need to have the opportunity to experience different diabetes rehabilitation methods, including the experience and comparison of adult rehabilitation models. Leaving pediatrics and joining individual or community-organized diabetes rehabilitation groups will also help the transition.
However, when selecting such groups, parents should pay attention to the control and good maintenance of blood sugar in these organizations, and pay attention to the training of patients to monitor the occurrence and development of complications and the outcome of the disease.
Responsible Editor: Ding Ruoshui