Fear of injections in children with diabetes

Pedeiatrician Jamie Wood, MD Clinical Diabestes, shares advice for parents on how to help their child with diabetes overcome his or her fear of injections when checking blood sugar
How To Help Children With Diabetes Overcome Their Fear Of Injection
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Fear of injections in children with diabetes

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The most difficult part of the initial discussion with a child about having diabetes is the realization for them that the only way to receive insulin is with a shot. I became a pediatrician, because children are brave and children are resilient and adaptable. Children are going to adjust to this far faster than their parents will. And so I have that discussion with the parents first. And it’s very important for the parents to have that brave face, encouraging, supportive, so that their child has that cue that it’s going to be okay. So first, I talk about the difference between the shots they’re used to having in their pediatrician’s office for immunization and the shots they’re going to be having for diabetes. I show them the needles, which are very, very, very small. And I can tell them quite honestly that they do not hurt. I often will have the parents give an empty injection to themselves or even to me, so that the parents know that this is actually something that’s not going to hurt their child. And then I tell the family that it’s going to be difficult. At first the child is going to be afraid, they’re going to have anxiety about it. But within fairly short amount of time children adapt and they then realize that this is not going to hurt and they slowly adjust.

Pedeiatrician Jamie Wood, MD Clinical Diabestes, shares advice for parents on how to help their child with diabetes overcome his or her fear of injections when checking blood sugar

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Jamie R. Wood, MD

Pediatrician, Clinical Diabetes, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Jamie Wood was born and raised in Vermont, where she also attended medical school. She completed her pediatric residency at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and her endocrine fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Joslin Diabetes Center of Harvard University. She moved to the Los Angeles area in 2008 and is now the Director of Clinical Diabetes Programs at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Wood’s specialty is the care of youth with type 1 and type 2 diabetes—a field she fell in love with during a medical student rotation at a summer camp for youth with diabetes.  She also enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, and playing with her husband and two children, Jackson and Olivia.

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