Paediatric Diabetic Program

The Paediatric Diabetes Team at Children’s Hospital is a large multi-disciplinary health care team that is involved in the care of children with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus, as well as diabetes related to other disorders (e.g. cystic fibrosis, monogenic diabetes, glucocorticoid therapy).

Through our affiliation with the Department of Paediatrics at the Schulich School of Medicine, we are an academic resource center for physicians and health-care professionals who serve children with diabetes in Southwestern Ontario. We also provide outreach clinics and consultation for families and physicians in this region.

Our program believes in a patient-centered approach to diabetes care, and we pride ourselves on developing strong relationships with our patients and their families.

We follow over 600 children and adolescents with diabetes and are involved with 50-60 new patients each year. We have an active insulin pump program and approximately half of our patients are currently on insulin pump therapy.

Initial Diabetes Education

We understand that the diagnosis of a new medical condition like diabetes can be stressful for families. Our Diabetes Education Program is designed to provide patients and families with the necessary information about diabetes so that they can return to normal daily activities as soon as possible.

Once the diagnosis of diabetes is established, patients and their families are brought to the Diabetes Education Center, located in the Pediatric Medical Day Unit (Zone B, 1st floor) at Children’s Hospital. At this time families begin to meet the Diabetes Team.

Phase 1 (2 full days, 8 am-5 pm): Initial diabetes education focuses on the basics about diabetes, and the skills necessary to manage diabetes independently. These skills include:

  • Home blood glucose monitoring (at least 4 times daily)
  • Insulin injections by child and parents (typically 4 times daily)
  • Management of low or high blood sugars

Following Phase 1 education, families are provided contact information and are encouraged to stay in touch with their Diabetes Team on a regular basis.

Phase 2 (4 weekly sessions, 2 or 3 hours per session): Advanced diabetes education builds on skills learned during Phase 1. Focus is on independence in diabetes care and includes more detailed education on:

  • Sick-day management
  • Independent insulin dose adjustments
  • Meal planning and carbohydrate counting

Ongoing Diabetes Care

Following diabetes education, patients and families are encouraged to stay in touch with their Diabetes Team by phone or email. Families usually contact us to discuss:

  • Questions about blood sugar control and insulin dose adjustments
  • Help with managing sick days
  • Prescription refills

Children with diabetes will continue to be seen in our Diabetes Clinic every 3-4 months, until the age of 18 years.

Our Diabetes Clinic

The Diabetes Clinic is located on the 1st floor of Zone B at Children’s Hospital. It is recommended that children and their caregivers are seen in clinic every 3-4 months. In clinic, you will see your Diabetes Doctor and have the opportunity to meet with other members of your Diabetes Team.

The goals of Diabetes Clinic are:

  • Review of blood sugar levels, in order to provide recommendations about insulin dose adjustments
  • Review of appropriate daily diabetes routines
  • Review of appropriate healthy eating habits
  • Review overall health status
  • Opportunity to discuss challenges in diabetes management as it related to:
    • School routines
    • Work schedules
    • Athletics and other extra-curricular activities

How to Prepare for Diabetes Clinic:

  1. Bring your diabetes logbook with recent blood sugar levels
  2. Bring a record of your current insulin doses
  3. Upload your insulin pump for review at clinic, and with your diabetes team between appointments. All current pumps on the Canadian market have on-line upload platforms
  4. Bring a record of any other medications
  5. Bring a list of questions that you wish to discuss with your Diabetes Team