If your child or young person has just been diagnosed with diabetes, you might like to start by reading the diabetes overview page. From there you can check out the rest of the information. Read and learn about the condition and teach your child as much as possible about diabetes. Make sure to also use the skills and knowledge of the healthcare team looking after your child.

Family having a picnic outdoors in Rotorua, New Zealand

Children and young people with diabetes aged 5 years and over can have their COVID-19 immunisation now. The Paediatric Society Clinical Network for Diabetes recommends all children 5 years and over with diabetes have the COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19.

The NZ Clinical Network for Children and Young People with Diabetes advises that it is safe for children and young people with diabetes to be at school when they are open. It's also important for children and young people with diabetes (5 years of age and over) to have the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are lifelong conditions. You can minimise the long-term risks and complications for your child.

It is important to work closely with school staff to create a safe environment for your child with diabetes. A diabetes healthcare provider will generally work with your child or teen, your family and teachers.

Healthy meal planning is an important part of diabetes management. There is no need for your child or young person to eat special foods or follow a restrictive diet.

The principles of dietary management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar. Check out some general guidelines. 

Regular physical activity is important and benefits people of all ages. It includes anything that gets your child/young person moving. It is not necessary to join a gym or buy expensive equipment at home.

Exercise is an important part of managing diabetes. It just needs some planning. Encourage and help your child or teen with diabetes to take part in physical activity.

Diabetes-related distress and mental health concerns are common in tamariki and rangatahi living with diabetes. Support is available to help you and your whānau.

Helping children and young people with diabetes to move towards self-management has 3 key parts: having knowledge, having skills, having support.

Glucose monitoring is important for children and young people with diabetes. 

People with type 1 diabetes mellitus need insulin therapy to replace the insulin that the body can no longer produce. People with type 2 diabetes may also need insulin.

Children with diabetes generally do not become unwell any more frequently than children without diabetes. But, when a child or teen with diabetes is unwell, they need extra care and attention from an adult who has received training from a specialist diabetes team. Even teens, who are more independent with managing their diabetes when well, will need help when they are sick.

Children and young people with diabetes can travel just the same as people without diabetes. You will need to do more planning to make sure travel plans include management of diabetes.

Hypoglycaemia happens when the blood glucose level is less than 4 mmol/l, or where your child has symptoms of hypoglycaemia at a level close to this.

Mini-dose glucagon can sometimes be useful for your child or teen with diabetes, if they keep having hypoglycaemia and won't drink or eat anything more. It's not a treatment for severe hypoglycaemia when your child or teen needs the full dose of glucagon. 

The risk of diabetes complications may be reduced by maximising the time your glucose levels are in the target range (3.9 to 10 mmol/L). Screening is important to allow for early detection of possible developing complications.