Education material and methods
As previously mentioned, it is vital that the education process is performed according to the age and maturity of the child. It is, therefore, important to use terminology that the child knows and understands. The education programme should be performed in a friendly and calm atmosphere, where the child and parents feel comfortable and are allowed to ask questions.
► Small children (2-5 years)
The appearance and operation of the internal organs may be demonstrated for the older children in this age group by means of a doll or a poster. The child is encouraged to tell what he/she knows about the stomach, the gut, the kidneys, the hearth and . ..the lungs. The child is taught where insulin is normally produced and how it functions. By using pictures, the meaning of healthy food or how a person with low blood glucose looks, for example, can be illustrated. Injection techniques may be demonstrated by injecting into a doll or teddy bear or by the diabetes educator or the parents having an injection. Measuring blood glucose is demonstrated by finger-pricking performed on the educator and the parents, and the child is encouraged to help.
► Pre-pubertal children (6-11 years)
Children in this age group are able to play a more active role in the diabetes education process than the younger children. The educational material to be used could be over-heads, pictures, draw-and paint-books, videos or games. In every case it is important that the educator and the child discuss the main topics of the pictures and that the child is free to express his/her own thoughts about the issues and to ask questions. Practical skills like insulin injections and finger pricking may be demonstrated and taught as above.
► Adolescents (12-18 years)
The adolescents should, of course, be given the same basic information about diabetes as younger patients. Further, they should have information about issues specific to adolescents (e.g. going to parties, sleeping out, sports etc.). This information can be given in groups or individually. Educational material in this age group may be over-heads, games (CD-ROMs) and videos. Diabetic camps may be an excellent opportunity for further education and test of practical skills in diabetes management.
Novo Nordisk Diabetes Care – Childhood Diabetes – Novo Care