How to help a friend who has a child with diabetes

Pediatrician Jamie Wood, MD Clinical Diabestes, shares advice on the best way that people can help a friend who has a child that has been diagnosed with diabetes
How To Help A Friend Who Has A Child With Diabetes
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How to help a friend who has a child with diabetes

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Parents who have a child diagnosed with diabetes need a lot of support. Diabetes can be very overwhelming at first and it is very labor intensive, and it can be overwhelming and tiresome. So, I think the best way to help a friend who has a child with diabetes is to do your homework and understand diabetes so that you cannot pass judgment or not say things that will make that parent feel uncomfortable. For example, some parents will say to their friends, “Oh, I didn’t think a child with diabetes could eat that” or “they can't have cake” or “they can't have a candy bar on a Halloween” because they don’t understand diabetes. They don’t understand how it’s managed in modern day. So, if they understand what diabetes is, they understand what causes it, they understand that the parent didn’t do anything to have caused this for their child. They can be more supportive. They can help with the other children. They can take the child who doesn’t have diabetes for an afternoon at first when the family is still very overwhelmed and busy with the diagnosis so that the parents can have some rest and can focus on the child with diabetes. They can at first even just bringing over a healthy dinner so that the family can also just relax and get some much needed rest. The bottomline is trying to understand what you friend is going through so that you can be more supportive.

Pediatrician Jamie Wood, MD Clinical Diabestes, shares advice on the best way that people can help a friend who has a child that has been diagnosed with diabetes

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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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