Basal Bolus Safety Skills Training
Learn tips on how to monitor diabetes.
Blood sugar testing
Why is it important to check blood sugars?
- It helps you make decisions about insulin, food and activity.
- It helps you keep the blood sugars in range.
What is the ideal range for my child’s blood sugar before meals?
- The diabetes team will help you set a range that works best for your child.
- Younger than 6 years: 80 to 180
- 6 to 12 years: 70 to 165
- 13 years and older: 70 to 150
How do I check my child’s blood sugar?
- Follow the instructions for your lancing device and glucose meter.
- The nurse will teach you how to use them.
- Make sure fingertips are clean and dry.
- Use one drop of blood.
- Hold fingertips lower than the heart.
- Use a new, sterile lancet. Lancets are for one use only.
- Keep your lancing device and glucose meter clean.
- Never share a lancet or a lancing device with anyone.
When should I check my child’s blood sugar?
- Test before all meals and snacks. You need to know the pre-meal blood sugar to decide on an insulin dose.
- Test blood sugar at least 3 hours after last insulin injection.
- Testing sooner may lead to a false high blood sugar.
- Checking blood sugar 3 hours after a meal tells you if the amount of insulin your child took for that meal is working.
Other times you will need to test your child’s blood sugar:
- When you think your child is having a low blood sugar
- After exercising for 30 minutes
- After treating a low blood sugar
- When your child is sick
- When you need more information
- If your child has a very active day
- Before your teen drives a motor vehicle
- When you change your child’s insulin dose
Will I always have to test blood sugar this often?
- Yes. Frequent blood sugar testing is necessary for good diabetes control.
How do I know if the number on the glucose meter is correct?
- If a number on the meter does not make sense, always recheck it.
- The most common mistake is not putting enough blood on the strip. This gives a false low reading.
- Wet fingers can dilute the drop of blood and also give a false low reading. Wash and dry hands well.
- Food on the hands may give a false high reading.
What is Alternate Site Testing (AST)?
- Some meters allow you to test blood sugar on palms and forearms.
- Some children find this less painful.
- In the beginning we will teach you to use your child’s fingertips.
- Discuss AST with your diabetes provider before using.
Are there times I should not use AST?
- Do not use AST when your child’s blood sugar could be rising or dropping.
- Do not use AST when your child is:
- Testing a blood sugar before driving a car
- Unable to feel a low blood sugar (hypoglycemia unawareness)
- At these times, check blood sugar on fingertips to make your decisions.
- Repeat any high or low blood sugar reading using the fingertips.
What do I do if my meter breaks?
- Call the number on the back of your meter.
- They can often talk you through the problem on the phone.
- If not, they will arrange to send you a new meter.
What are ketones?
- Ketones are strong acids that come from fat breakdown.
- Fat breaks down when there is not enough insulin.
- Ketones are found in the urine and blood.
- Ketones make the body sick.
When should I test my child’s urine for ketones?
- When blood sugar is over 240
- When your child is sick or beginning to get sick
How do I test the urine for ketones?
- Dip a ketone dipstick into a fresh urine sample or have your child urinate on the end of the strip.
- Ketones will turn the dipstick a pink or purple color.
- Refer to the package insert for color codes for your brand of ketone test strips.
- Wait the amount of time stated in the directions.
- Note if urine ketones are negative, trace, small, moderate or large.
What else do I need to know about ketone strips?
- Some strips test the urine for more than just ketones. Look for pink-purple ketone color.
- Ketone strips will not work correctly if they have expired.
- Make a note of the date you open the box. Write it on the box. Ketone strips expire in 6 months after opening, or on the expiration date listed on the box (whichever is first).
- Protect your ketone strips from moisture and light.
- Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.