In this health video learn all about how to help your child living with diabetes.
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Female Speaker: Scenes from summer camp so familiar, take away the crowd placing floating balloon the folks here call the blog and Florida's camp were known a probably looks very much like a camp you remember from your own childhood. But this is a camp for children with diabetes. Dr. Janet Silverstein: We want to teach these children that diabetes should not limit them in any way that they can do whatever anybody without diabetes can do. We try to teach them to independently manage their diabetes. Katie: I'm Katie. I got it when I was six months old and I've had it for 11 years. Female Speaker: And managing diabetes particularly for a child can seem like an overwhelming task. Children with juvenile diabetes also known as "Type One" diabetes must regularly monitor the level of insulin in their blood normally through a finger prick. Male Speaker: What's a good range? Male Speaker 2: From like 80 to 120. Emily: And yours was what? Male Speaker 2: 316? Yeah, 316. Emily: Is that really high? Male Speaker 2: Yeah. Emily: How does that make you feel when it's really high? Can you tell? Male Speaker 2: Yeah, I can tell. I get really red and stuff. I don't like it because I usually have to get a shot. Female Speaker: Since their bodies fail to produce enough insulin to break down the sugar in their blood these children must inject insulin in the correct dose at the proper time, often several times a day. If a child neglects to do this, his blood sugar level can rise to dangerous levels and his mind and body will suffer. High blood sugar can have immediate consequences, mood swings, heart palpitations, upset stomach, lightheadedness or fainting even seizures. Dr. Janet Silverstein: Children with diabetes as they grow into adulthood have a higher risk of earlier cardiovascular disease, earlier heart attack, strokes. It's a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure if it is not well controlled. Female Speaker: Because diabetes is a potentially devastating disease, it's critical that children with diabetes learn to cope with it early on. And that requires some significant effort. Michael Michaud: I always have to, like, test before every meal and before snacks and I have to give myself insulin before every meal. Female Speaker: The part of any meal that raises blood sugar most acutely is the total number of carbohydrates, not just sugar. So children like a 11-year old Michael Michaud have to calculate the number of carbs they consume in each meal, and inject enough insulin to counterbalance that amount. Michael Michaud: So, like if I had a hotdog I'd dose for 3 units, because the hotdog wouldn't have any, but I'd have to dose for the bun. Female Speaker: It seems an awful lot to ask a child of any age to do. Dr. Janet Silverstein: For some of the children they say, Oh, I feel that I'm actually healthier because I eat healthier but that but many children just feel, why me? Female Speaker: Michael was diagnosed with diabetes five years ago. His Mom brought him to the pediatrician because he was urinating frequently and was constantly thirsty two tell-tale signs of untreated diabetes. Danette Michaud: When I found out I was devastated, seeing him prick his finger, the shots. As a parent, if there was anything that I could do to take that on for him I would do it in a heartbeat. But, the best thing that I can do is to give him the tools that he needs to be able to live a relatively normal life. Female Speaker: Camp Winona and the more than 120 diabetes camps like it across the United States were created to give campers those tools. Dr. Janet Silverstein: Many of them feel they're the only child in the whole world with diabetes. Just having other children who are like them and who have the same kinds of issues is very important. Female Speaker: Michael agrees, he says before he started coming to Camp Winona five years ago, he often felt like the odd man out. Michael Michaud: I just really thought I was so different than everybody else. Like I'