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Diabetes Healthcare Team - Get to Know The Professionals Caring For Your Child

A Team Approach to Your Child's Healthcare


Updated December 23, 2011

Diabetes Healthcare Team - Get to Know The Professionals Caring For Your Child
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Your child's diabetes healthcare team is a vital part of his or her condition. Type 1 diabetes is a complex disease and requires the help of many people: family, friends and several healthcare professionals knowledgeable about different aspects of diabetes.

As a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes you and your family are the primary members of that team because you will be performing most of the management care. But you will need the help of several healthcare professionals to guide you along with way.


Most families have a primary care doctor or pediatrician that they go to for routine visits. Though some primary care physicians and pediatricians may feel comfortable treating your child’s diabetes, it may be necessary to have your child see a pediatric endocrinologist on a regular basis. Endocrinologists are specialists in diabetes. An eye doctor, preferably an ophthalmologist, should be consulted within five years after your child’s diagnosis with annual visits thereafter. Regardless of which doctor your child sees, you and your child should feel comfortable asking questions.

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Diabetes Educator

A Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) has specialized training to help you and your child learn about diabetes and the care and maintenance of your child’s condition. These professionals are invaluable for their knowledge of the best practices in glucose monitoring, lifestyle adjustments and insulin therapy. You can ask your doctor for a referral to a CDE or visit The American Association of Diabetes Educators online. They offer an search option from their website to find a CDE near you.


A dietitian can help develop a healthy meal plan that is customized to your child’s developmental and personal needs. You should consult a dietitian at least once a year. This annual visit is especially important for children to ensure their nutritional needs are being met as they grow.


Your pharmacist is often an underappreciated member of your team. He or she can help you choose diabetes supplies and answer any questions about medications that may cause a rise in your glucose levels. Many pharmacies have at least one pharmacist that is also a Certified Diabetes Educator.

Mental Health Professional

There may be times when you, your child or your family needs a little extra help coping or solving particular problems that may arise. A mental health professional familiar with diabetes can provide guidance and help bring perspective to your situation.


Your Diabetes Care Team. American Diabetes Association. Accessed September 22, 2008. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/who-is-on-your-healthcare-team/your-health-care-team.html

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