Teaching siblings how to check blood glucose levels is very important. I feel that every sibling should know how to care for their sibling with Type 1 Diabetes, even if they are in preschool. We are teaching our 4-year-old, Lil’ Red, and our 7-year-old, Big Red, how to check their big brothers blood glucose levels using Eldest’s FreeStyle Lite meter.
We started with teaching Princess how to check Eldest’s blood sugar when he was first diagnosed so she would have been 10 years old. Next we taught Big Red how to use a blood glucose meter to check his big brother’s blood glucose levels. Now that Lil’ Red is 4 years old we think he’s old enough to learn how to check his big brother’s blood glucose levels.
Why Should Family Members Check Blood Glucose Levels?
Teaching other family members how to check blood glucose levels helps to avoid burnout for the type 1 diabetic as well as the parents. Having reliable relatives to check blood glucose levels will also allow the parents to go out on a date night or run errands without having to worry about their type 1 diabetic left in the care of someone else.
When the kids wanted to stay the night at grandma’s it eased our minds knowing that Princess knew how to check his BG and administer insulin if necessary. Even after three years diagnosis, most of Eldest’s relatives do not know how to use a blood glucose meter. While Eldest has been on a Dexcom G4 for over 2 years it’s still important for aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents to learn this valuable skill!
How to Teach a Younger Sibling to Check Blood Glucose Levels
You will want to grab your blood glucose meter bag and supplies to check blood sugar levels. We still use our Accu-Chek meter bag with our FreeStyle Lite meter because that meter bag fits the FastClix lancing device which we LOVE! ( We love the 6 poke barrel versus a 1 poke lancet.)
We are sharing our 5 simple steps to check blood glucose levels so your friends and family can become confident in checking your Type 1 Diabetics BG’s.
1.Take your alcohol swab and wipe the finger that will be checked. Be sure the alcohol is dry BEFORE lancing aka poking!
2. Open up the test strip bottle and insert into the blood glucose meter.
3. Grab the lancing device and poke the finger.
4. Place the tip of the test strip on the drop of blood at the end of the finger.
5. Wipe excess blood on the alcohol swab wrapper.
It’s just that simple. Big Red could do this quite easily once he was shown. I will try to remind Eldest to allow his siblings to check his BG at least weekly for a month and then less frequently once they seem proficient. Next we will work on dosing insulin with a pen needle.
Our T1D journey began on a cold December day with Eldest being diagnosed 12/13/14 and being in DKA! We have had many ups and downs through our journey with a T1D entering puberty and hormones and insulin colliding. Join us as we share tips to cope with T1D through our monthly newsletter.
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Does your family know how to check your T1D’s blood glucose levels?
Want to read more about Type 1 Diabetes? We have a handful of posts created as resources for parents of newly diagnosed Type 1’s and their families who could learn more from “outside” the diagnosed family. We know that those closest to us can prove to be the most challenging to teach about Type 1 Diabetes!
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