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HESC 2006 CHILD HEALTH ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES THEME 4 SICK CHILDREN IN A NORMAL ENVIRONMENT DISCUSS HOW ONE CHILDHOOD CONDITION AFFECTS THE NORMAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF A CHILD AND FAMILY AND THE POSSIBLE INTERVENTIONS TO ALLEVIATE THESE ISSUES This report will aim to look at diabetes, its causes, symptoms and treatment in children. Commonly thought of as a 'mild' condition, the seriousness of diabetes is often not recognised (www.diabetes.org.uk); therefore this report shall attempt to illustrate the potential risks involved, whilst raising awareness of the condition. The digestion of starchy foods, sugar and other sweet foods all produce glucose, as well as the liver which produces glucose naturally (www.diabetes.org.uk). 'Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly' (www.diabetes.org.uk:1). This occurs when the insulin produced by the pancreas is not sufficient to allow the glucose to enter the cells to be used as fuel (www.diabetes.org.uk). Without insulin this process cannot take place proving fatal. A common health condition, diabetes is thought to affect about 1.4 million people alone in the UK; this is on average three in every 100 people, however at least another one million people do not actually know they have the condition 'Diabetes is at the forefront of chronic disease in childhood, where responsibility is handed over to the patient and their family' (Shield and Baum. 1996:574). There are 2 types of diabetes Type 1 also known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and Type 2 also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). (www.diabetes.org.uk). Type 1 has also been called 'JOD- Juvenile Onset Diabetes' (Craig 1982:23). Whichever type, 'diabetes is for life; although cannot be cured, it can be successfully controlled' (British Diabetes Association 1980:DH103:1). Type 1 diabetes occurs 'if the body is unable to produce any insulin' (www.diabetes.org.uk) naturally in order to use the body's glucose efficiently. ...read more.


menstruation is sometimes delayed for a year or two; however this is not always the case and not serious enough to cause major concern (Bloom 1975). In diabetics 'weight loss equals poor control associated with insufficient insulin and or insufficient food and excessive weight gain equals too much insulin and or food. The combination of poor control and excessive weight gain must equate to excessive or inappropriate dietary intake and excessive insulin' (Court and Lamb 1997:241), therefore it is essential to control diet and have an active exercise regime in order to prevent any further complications resulting from weight gain, which are also common in non-diabetics. Up to now the main focus of this report has been upon the child, but as any childhood condition shows, the family is as important, deserving time and support themselves. This is shown as 'Diabetes in a child is more than a disease, it is a way of life. It involves the whole family and all those outside the family who are caring for the child' (Craig 1982:5). Diabetes is for life, and those in contact with the child need to be aware of any potential problems, however 'There is no getting away from the fact that the control of a diabetic child may be very difficult and that the best of parents will at times feel self-doubt' (Craig 1982:5). The family are essential in day to day life; therefore an understanding of the child's condition ensures the correct care for that child. The family is very important, and all should be involved in such things as giving insulin and knowing about hypoglycaemia, with such help as no sugar at the table-other siblings should still get them but not in front of diabetic child (Craig 1982) so that no prejudice or dislike occurs on either part. 'The simple fact of having diabetes may make a child feel inferior, different from his friends; and if he also feels he has to be constantly watched his feelings of inadequacy increase...Diabetes in childhood is a family illness; the child needs support and so do the parents' (Craig 1982:5). ...read more.


care they are unsure about; care plans should be drawn up with the parents involvement and should take account of the physical, emotional and social needs of the whole family; parents who are caring for a sick child at home may feel isolated, and may parents will experience emotional stress and tension in their marital relationships. Support groups can help enormously, by putting both parents in touch with others who are going through the same difficulties. Diploma of Childcare and education Tassoni and Beith (2004) Oxford UK: Heineman Educational Publishers Extracts as put together by Jo Bonnet! Role of early years practioner meeting the needs of a diabetic child Diet: The child should discuss their diet with a dietician. Sugar intake needs to be controlled. Child need a well balanced diet with regular meals to reduce the needs of hypoglycaemic attacks. Diabetic foods not particularly encouraged as they tend to be expensive, and high in fats and calories. Physical activity: This is important for the child's general health. It is important to remember that physical activity lowers the blood glucose so the child should carry sugar to avoid hypos. Treatment: Through diet and insulin. The child's parents may administer the insulin injections until the child is old enough to learn how to do it; this age varies. Insulin is injected into the abdomen or thighs, but other sites may be used. Children need an individual regime planned for them. Insulin is usually given by insulin pen. Parents' role: To learn about the condition/giving injections/controlling diet and measuring blood glucose levels. Know what to do in a hypo. Teach the child to give injections him'herself and how to measure blood glucose. Make sure the child carries glucose Regular visits to doctor Inform school and friends about child and signs of hypoglycaemic attacks and how to treat. Effect on child: Illness may require hospitalisation resulting in child missing school; this could lead them to fall behind and find it difficult to bond in friendship groups. 1 ...read more.

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