Barnard et al listed risk factors for a parent being afraid of hypoglycemia in a young child with Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Fear of hypoglycemia can have a number of adverse effects on the child and family. The authors are from the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme at the University of Southhampton, University of Aberdeen and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.


Risk factors for parental fear of hypoglycemia in a child with Type 1 diabetes:

(1) mother

(2) anxiety and/or depression

(3) history of seizure or other serious complication of hypoglycemia in the child

(4) no or inadequate training in how to manage the child’s diabetes

(5) lack of awareness of the child’s blood glucose level

(6) limited resources to help with coping


Concerns of the parent may include:

(1) nocturnal hypoglycemia

(2) not being available to help the child

(3) others not being able to help the child

(4) occurrence of seizures or other serious complications


Consequences of fear about hypoglycemia:

(1) poor glucose control with hyperglycemia

(2) overteatment of symptoms that may or may not be related to a hypoglycemia episode

(3) abnormal home environment


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