Managing Diabetes: Children and Their Pets
Children are known to be attached to their pets, and children who suffer from diabetes are no exception. However, a new study carried out by the American Pediatric Medical Association has warned that those who own pets should take care. Although this study was not targeted at children, they are at an even higher risk from the dangers posed by their pets, and necessary care should be taken when there is a pet in the house.
Pets are usually in the habit of nibbling on the toes and fingers of their owners, and this type of play is more prevalent amongst the pets of children. It is their way of showing affection, and with a non-diabetic child it is not a problem. However, when it comes to children with diabetes, extra care needs to be taken to ensure that this does not happen.
This warning was issued after a woman who suffered from numbness in her feet as a result of diabetes lost a leg when she woke up to find that her pet dog had chewed on her infected toe. She had no idea when she was sleeping that the dog was chewing on her toes. This numbness experienced is often a symptom of diabetes, as well as injuries that take longer than usual to heal.
It is normal for people with diabetes to develop foot problems and these can often lead to complications. The problems result from nerve damage, which lead to a loss of feeling in the foot. This is called neuropathy. Diabetic nerve damage means that there is often a loss of such feeling as heat, cold and pain. An injury might go completely unnoticed until it gets infected.
This is a particularly serious situation for children who play and tend to get injured. Even children who are aware of the effects of diabetes on them do not slow down and are injured on a regular basis. For a child with a pet, this could be a serious situation. This refers to both pet dogs and pet cats, as they both love to lick on wounds.
If a child already owns a pet and it is not possible to get rid of it, adequate precautions should be taken to ensure that the child is kept safe from the pet while asleep. A good place to start would be to make sure that the pet is kept out of the sleeping area of that child. Another measure to take would be to make sure that protective clothing such as socks are worn whenever the child is asleep.
A child who spends a great deal of with the pet should have both feet protected during the day. There are special therapeutic shoes that can be made available by a healthcare provider. These shoes can keep the feet of the child safe, drastically reducing the danger of having a pet in the house. Diabetes makes a child vulnerable to dangers from a pet, but taking some firm precautions can reduce the risk of those dangers.