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8 ways to protect children with diabetes from COVID-19

We know how frightening the spread of the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) may be for parents – especially parents of children with diabetes.

The good news is that for children with diabetes, there is no evidence this virus will be any different than most other viral respiratory illnesses. As always, an illness will require increased glucose monitoring, possible ketone testing, and increased attention to insulin and carbohydrate intake.

If any person with diabetes gets sick — from any cause— CHOC Children’s endocrinology department recommends the following:

  1. If you are using a glucose meter, check your glucose more often, every two to three hours at minimum.
  2. If you are using a continuous glucose monitoring, or CGM, device such as DexCom or Libre, review the data from your continuous glucose every one to three hours to monitor for trends and adjust your insulin/food intake.
  3. If you are on injections, always take your long-acting insulin (such as Lantus, Levemir, Tresiba or Basaglar), even if you are eating less. If you are experiencing overnight lows, you can decrease your dose by 10%. For example, if you use 20 units nightly, then decrease down to 18 units, but if you need to decrease further for continued low blood glucose values, please contact your provider.
  4. If you are using an insulin pump, continue to wear the pump for basal insulin.
  5. Continue to stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.
  6. Check for ketones if glucose readings are higher than 300 for more than three hours.
  7. If you have moderate or large ketones, especially if you are vomiting, contact your provider.
  8. Ensure you have your diabetes supplies, and that you are not close to running out.

For type 1 diabetes–specific topics related to COVID-19, please visit JDRF.org/coronavirus.

CHOC’s endocrinology department continues to offer on-site office visits, but if you or your child is sick, please stay home and notify us that you will not be attending the visit. Our team will work with your family on alternative arrangements if you cannot make it to your scheduled visit.

CHOC endocrinology can be reached during daytime hours at 714-509-8634. During evenings and weekends, call 714-765-7679.

Get more information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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