Checking your blood sugar is a really important part of taking care of your diabetes. Blood sugar is checked on a small machine called a blood sugar meter.
When should I check my blood sugar?
- Before breakfast
- 2 hours after breakfast
- Before lunch
- 2 to 3 hours after lunch (before afternoon snack)
- Before supper
- 2 to 3 hours after supper (before your bedtime snack)
You need to do extra blood sugar checks:
- If you are having signs of low blood sugar
- When you are sick or vomiting (throwing up)
- When you are very active (a lot of exercise or participating in sports)
- Before driving
- Before riding anything with wheels
A diabetes nurse will teach you how to check your blood sugar.
Follow these steps to check your blood sugar:
- Wash and dry your hands to be sure to get an accurate reading.
- Put a test strip into the meter.
- Use a small needle, called a lancet, to poke your finger. This will get a very tiny drop of blood on your fingertip.
- Touch the window on the test strip to the drop of blood on your finger. The test strip “sucks” the drop of blood into the strip.
- In a few seconds, your blood sugar reading will show on the screen on the meter.
- Keep track of your blood sugars so you, your family, your school, and your diabetes team can help keep your diabetes in control.
Write all of your blood sugar readings on the blood sugar record log. Write them down even if they do not match with the columns. Some people use an app on their smart phone to record their blood sugars.
Keeping track of your blood sugars is important because:
- Your diabetes doctor and nurse will talk to you on the phone or by email about your blood sugar log on a regular basis.
- They will help you change your insulin doses if needed.
- If you do not keep track of your blood sugars by writing them down or entering them into an app in your phone, your doctor or nurse will not be able to help you get good control of your diabetes.
Target ranges for blood sugars
It is important to work hard to have blood sugars in the target range. The target ranges below are based on facts from clinical studies with children.
Usual blood sugar target ranges for children:
- Age 6 and older
- Before meals: 70 to 150
- Bedtime and during the night: 90 to 150
- Under the age of 6
- All the time: 80 to 150
Try to get half of your blood sugars in the target range. The rest of your blood sugars may be higher than the target range.
It is ok to have 2 to 4 low blood sugars in a week.
How do I take care of my diabetes supplies?
- Keep your meter and the strips away from heat and direct sunlight.
- Never leave them in the car.
- Keep the strips in their original container with the lid on tightly.
- Be sure to have spare batteries for your meter.