Can You Prevent DKA?
Knowing the signs of DKA is the first step in prevention. But knowing what to do when your child is sick can also help prevent DKA. The American Diabetes Association suggest the following tips for sick day management:
– Drink lots of fluids. If having trouble keeping water down, give small sips every 15 minutes or so throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
– If experiencing blood sugar below 70 mg/dl or below target range, give 15 grams of simple carbs that are easy to digest, such as honey, jam, Jell-O, hard candy, popsicles, juice, or regular soda. Re-check blood sugar in 15 minutes to make sure the levels are rising. Check blood sugar extra times throughout the day and night (generally, every 2-3 hours; if using a CGM, monitor frequently).
– If blood sugar has registered high (BG greater than 240mg/dl) more than two times in a row, check for ketones to avoid DKA.
– Call your doctor’s office immediately if your child has medium or large ketones (and if instructed—trace or small ketones).
– Be aware that some CGM sensors (Dexcom G5, Medtronic Enlite, and Guardian) are impacted by Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Check with finger sticks to ensure accuracy.
– Wash your hands and clean injection/infusion and finger-stick sites with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
The sick day management tips above are general guidelines. Work with your child’s health care provider to develop a personalized sick-day plan before your child gets sick.