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Interesting Ways to Teach Children About Diabetes

written by: Bobby Mathew • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 12/15/2010

Children often don't bother to worry about their health. With the increasing rate at which children are becoming obese and diabetic, it should be one of your concerns. Luckily, there are many interesting ways to teach children about diabetes.

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    In the last 25 years, childhood obesity rates have risen roughly 400 percent. Obesity, caused by poor eating habits and lack of physical inactivity, is one of the main causes of type 2 Diabetes.

    When it comes to your children, teaching them about diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, does not have to be an impossible task. It's true that many children aren't as concerned about health as adults are. Nonetheless, there are many interesting ways to teach children about diabetes. You can make it fun for your child to be healthy and fit.

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    Use Interactive Games

    One of the most interesting ways to teach children about diabetes is by using interactive computer games. You can get software that teaches the basic principles of diabetes management, such as how to administer insulin injections, test blood glucose levels, and plan meals. There are also forms of software that are available that help children recognize the relationship between food, physical activity, blood sugar levels, and insulin. You can easily find software like this online, but it may be best to make sure that the software follows the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association.

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    Reading is Fun and Fundamental

    Reading is another one of several interesting ways to teach children about diabetes. There are many books out there that children can read that will educate them about diabetes. Although more rare, there are even comic books that deal with diabetes. Books are especially one of the most interesting ways to teach children about diabetes because it engages their imagination.

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    Teach Them That Staying Active Can Be Fun

    One of the most interesting ways to teach children about diabetes control is to teach them that staying active can be fun. Adults sometimes drop out of exercise programs because they often undertake forms of physical fitness that aren't stimulating enough. Don't pass this mistake on to your children.

    Your child should aim to get his or her heart rate up for at least 20 to 30 minutes at least three or more days per week. How they do this makes the difference between them sticking to the exercise program or dropping out. For example, instead of telling your child to run for 30 minutes, you can ask your child to play tag, touch football, or basketball for that duration. After all, all three of those sports involve some form of running and burn plenty of calories while being more engaging than a run. In addition, activities such as dancing and skating can be used as forms of exercise which are also quite enjoyable for children. Walking with a dog outside or with friends in a mall is more fun than walking alone. Children should exercise in ways that appeal to their interests.

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    Final Words

    It's important to start young with children when educating them about diabetes so that they can carry these habits on throughout their life. There are many interesting ways to teach children about diabetes, but the most important thing to do before opening up a book, using a software, or getting active is to be a role model. Children follow in the footsteps of their guardians.