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Insulin is normally made by the pancreas, a gland behind the stomach. In children with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes enough insulin or it stops making it. Without insulin, your child's blood glucose (sugar) level rises to dangerous levels. When this happens, your child needs insulin shots to keep blood glucose at a safe level to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Sometimes your child may need two different types of insulin that are given in the same syringe. This is called a mixed-dose insulin shot.
You may be nervous giving your child a shot at first. But soon, giving the shot will become routine. It is quite easy to learn how to draw up insulin into a syringe and give the shot. The needles you use to give the insulin injections are very thin, and most children who have diabetes say that they do not even feel the needle enter the skin. Many parents give their children shots. You can too.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Preparing the shot
To prepare a mixed-dose insulin shot:
You can inject insulin at a few places on the body.
Your doctor or diabetes care team may advise you to give the shots in different places on your child's body each day. This is called site rotation. Make sure you talk to the doctor or diabetes care team about how to do this safely.
Slightly change the spot where you give an insulin shot each time you do it. For example, use five different places on the right upper arm, then use five places on the left upper arm. Using the same spot every time can cause bumps or pits in the skin and make the shots hurt more. It may also slow down how the insulin is absorbed into your child's body.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter N366 in the search box to learn more about "Giving a Mixed-Dose Insulin Shot to Children: Care Instructions".
Adaptation Date: 9/21/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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