The Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes cares for over 800 children with diabetes from Western New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania. This condition is unlike any other in that families are asked to master a voluminous amount of information during a short hospitilzation after their child has been diagnosed with a serious, chronic condition. They are then required to go home and apply this information in order to keep their child healthy. This includes performing four, six or more fingersticks a day to check blood sugars and administering 3 to 6 insulin injections, providing healthy food and snacks on a regular schedule and dealing with frightening low blood sugars as well as life-threatening high blood sugars and "ketosis". All of this is done without a medical degree and after a brief hospital stay during which their child may have been deathly ill in the ICU. Their 'patient' may be a screaming two year old who does not understand the sudden lifestyle change or an onery, needle-phobic adolescent whose idea of a healthy meal is an entire pizza washed down by a liter of coke.
We hope that by providing a website specifically designed for families of children with diabetes, we can help to relieve some of the parent's anxiety by giving them a quickly accessible means to check on information that can help them to help their children. The information that they may have missed or forgotten from their initial diabetes education sessions will be readily available for review. Although families will still be encouraged to call for emergencies and urgent questions, they will have a better idea of what to do in response to a variety of common occurrences such as sick days or hypoglycemic attacks. We hope that parents and patients will feel more confident knowing that they have another tool to support them in the day to day management of their child's diabetes.