FAQs (Parents and Caregivers)

  • Do I need to follow a special diet and/or limit carbohydrate intake?

  • No — a healthy, well-balanced diet is recommended. This includes all food groups from the food guide pyramid – whole grains, vegetables, fruits, milk/dairy and meat/beans. Most children are encouraged to eat until satisfied, therefore, a limit on the number of carbohydrate grams eaten is not necessary. If a child requires a restriction of carbohydrates or calories for weight management purposes, the dietitians at the PDRC will make those specific recommendations on an individual basis.

  • Can my child still participate in sports?

  • Yes! Physical activity is encouraged for all children. Regular activity promotes overall good health in addition to helping improve blood glucose control. The dietitians and nurses at the PDRC can teach you how to safely participate in sports and prevent activity-related low blood sugars.

  • What is the gram number in parenthesis after the serving size on a food label?

  • This number is how much the serving size of that particular food weighs (in grams) if put on a food scale. It is not the number of carbohydrate grams. You will always need to go to the “Total Carbohydrate” line on the label to find the carb grams.

  • How do I handle school parties and birthday treats?

  • With diabetes, there is not a limit on having an occasional treat. Children with diabetes should take part in the same activities as their peers, but each family may approach school parties differently. A delegated care aid may help deliver insulin or parents may prefer for the treats to be sent home with their child. Parents and diabetes aids may use nutrition facts from a bakery, food labels, or CalorieKing to determine carbohydrate amounts. Please reach out to the Pediatric Diabetes Resource Center dietitians with any other questions. 

  • What can I do if my insurance is not covering supplies as well as it used to or if my copays have increased?

  • There are 3 options for this situation
    1. You can go to https://hfs.illinois.gov/medicalprograms/allkids.html and apply for All Kids. Even if you have insurance, you may still quality for Kid Care rebate or one of the other programs.
    2. You can call Partnership for Prescription Assistance at 1-888-477-2669 or visit their website at www.pparx.org.
    3. You can call Together Rx Access at 1-800-250-2839 or visit their website at www.TogetherRxAccess.com.

  • What do I do if my child is complaining that shots hurt or the insulin burns when injected?

  • If you find that the insulin is burning under the skin (usually Lantus) it may be helpful to rub the area immediately after the injection. This will help with the pain and increase circulation.

    If you find that shots are hurting there are a few techniques that might help. You can numb the site with ice before the injection. You can have your child take a deep breath, exhale, and inject/insert the pump site immediately after they have completely exhaled. For small children, you may be able to distract them by proposing a challenge. Have them sing the ABC Song and sing it all the way through before the injection/pump site insertion is complete.

  • What do I do if my child is missing blood sugars, skipping insulin doses/boluses, or seems unmotivated to complete their diabetes self-care tasks?

  • You can offer to check their blood sugars, count carbohydrates, give shots, or insert their pump sites for them for at least 24 hours (up to 3 days) to give them a break and recharge their diabetes care batteries! Please remember: you are the parent and ultimately responsible for their medical care and, just like you, they get tired of their tasks and may need a little break.