Young Children with Type 1 Diabetes: Challenges, Research, and Future Directions
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The incidence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) in young children (age <6 years) is rising. Diabetes management guidelines offered by the American Diabetes Association and health care teams understandably place a high burden of responsibility on caregivers to check young children’s blood glucose levels, administer insulin, and monitor diet and physical activity with the ultimate goal of maintaining tight glycemic control. Unfortunately, this tight control is needed during a vulnerable developmental period when behavior is unpredictable, T1D can be physiologically difficult to control, parenting stress can be elevated, and caregivers are strained by normal child caretaking routines. Despite the potentially different management needs, specific education and clinical services for managing diabetes in young children are rarely offered, and behavioral research with this young child age group has been limited in scope and quantity. Research findings pertinent to young children with T1D are reviewed, and potential clinical implications, as well as areas for future research, are discussed.
KeywordsYoung children Type 1 diabetes Parenting
The authors were supported in part during the writing of this manuscript by NIH R01 DK080102 awarded to RS (Dr. Streisand is PI on an R01) and NIH K23DK099250 awarded to MM.
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Conflict of Interest
Randi Streisand and Maureen Monaghan declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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