Steps for dealing with high blood sugar in a child

Blood sugar levels between 200 mg/dL to 350 mg/dL

Follow these steps if your child's blood sugar is 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) to 350 mg/dL.

  • If your child has missed a usual dose of medicine for type 2 diabetes or insulin, give him or her the missed dose.
  • If the doctor has prescribed a dose of fast-acting insulin based on your child's blood sugar level (sliding scale), give the appropriate dose. If your child takes insulin and you do not have a prescribed dose of fast-acting insulin, call the doctor for advice.
  • Test your child's urine for ketones, if the doctor has advised you to do so. If the results of the ketone test show that your child has a moderate to large amount of ketones in his or her urine, call the doctor for advice.
  • Wait 30 minutes after giving your child the extra insulin or the missed medicine.
  • Check your child's blood sugar again.
  • Make sure that your child is not dehydrated. High blood sugar will increase how often he or she urinates. Dehydration can increase blood sugar levels more and reduce your child's response to insulin.
  • If your child's symptoms of high blood sugar become more noticeable or if his or her blood sugar level continues to rise, call the doctor. (The blood sugar level can go up a lot after a meal, but it should return to the target range within 3 to 4 hours.)

Blood sugar levels over 350 mg/dL

Follow these steps if your child's blood sugar is moderately high (over 350 mg/dL).

  • If your child has missed a usual dose of medicine for type 2 diabetes or insulin, give him or her the missed dose.
  • If the doctor has prescribed a dose of fast-acting insulin based on your child's blood sugar level (sliding scale), give the appropriate dose. If your child takes insulin and you do not have a prescribed dose of fast-acting insulin, call the doctor for advice.
  • Test your child's urine for ketones, if the doctor has advised you to do so. If your child has a moderate to large amount of ketones in his or her urine, call the doctor for advice.
  • Wait 30 minutes after giving your child the extra insulin or the missed medicine.
  • Check your child's blood sugar again.
  • Make sure that your child is not dehydrated. High blood sugar will increase how often he or she urinates. Dehydration can increase blood sugar levels more and reduce your child's response to insulin.
  • If your child starts to feel drowsy or lose consciousness, or if his or her blood sugar continues to rise, take your child to an emergency room or call 911 or other emergency services immediately. Stay with your child until emergency help arrives.

Blood sugar levels over 600 mg/dL

Follow these steps if your child's blood sugar is extremely high (over 600 mg/dL). Some blood sugar meters read only levels up to about 400 mg/dL.

  • Check your child's blood sugar. If the meter reads high, recheck his or her blood sugar. If the meter reads high again, call the doctor for advice or take your child to the emergency room.

After a high blood sugar episode

After your child's blood sugar level has returned to a safe range, continue to give his or her medicine as prescribed by the doctor, and check your child's blood sugar levels often. Report the episode to the doctor.

Last Updated: July 28, 2008

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