(HealthDay) – Parents fear COVID-19 could make a diabetic child's condition worse, but an expert has some tips on how to keep children healthy during the pandemic.
"If a child is in good control of their diabetes, it doesn't seem to have much of an impact when they get the virus," said Dr. Michael Yafi, Associate Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
"However, children with poorly controlled diabetes are at high risk of getting seriously ill if they get the virus," Yafi said in a university press release.
High blood sugar levels can weaken the immune system and make it difficult for people with diabetes to fight off infections like COVID-19, he explained.
"The exact cause of serious consequences in patients with diabetes and COVID-19 is not yet known. However, research has shown that people with diabetes have weakened immune systems, which can affect their ability to quickly heal from an infection or disease "said Yafi.
He offered the following tips to parents to help reduce their child's risk:
- Make sure children wash their hands often.
- Tell them it is important not to touch their face.
- Stay away from large gatherings and maintain social distance.
- Clean frequently used areas around the house frequently.
- Keep a record of a child's blood sugar levels.
- Have extra diabetes emergency supplies ready.
- Practice healthy habits and feed children a healthy diet.
- Make sure children get some exercise every day.
Because COVID-19 affects the body in so many ways, there are concerns that it could lead patients to develop diabetes, Yafi said. "However, this has yet to be established as we do not have global epidemiological information on the link between diabetes and previous COVID-19 infection," he added.
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A Guide to Treating Diabetes in Children During COVID-19 (2020, Aug 31)
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