Making Blood-Sugar Testing More Comfortable For Your Kid

Posted on: 1 September 2017

If your child has been diagnosed with diabetes, routine blood testing plays a critical role in preventing serious illness or even death. In order to test your child's blood-sugar levels, a blood sample must be collected. The collection of these blood samples can become painful for kids, causing them to dread testing their blood-sugar levels.

Here are three simple things that you can do to help reduce the pains and stress associated with collecting a blood sample.

1. Prick the right place.

Many people believe that pricking the tips of the fingers is the easiest way to collect a blood sample. While the tips of the fingers are certainly the most accessible areas, these fingertips contain a lot of nerve endings that can make the pricking process more painful.

Instead of collecting a blood sample from your child's fingertips, try pricking the side of their finger, between the bottom and top of the nail bed instead. This area will produce a blood sample that can be used to test blood-sugar levels without causing the same level of pain as a fingertip.

2. Adjust lancer settings.

If you need to test your child's blood-sugar levels, you probably use a lancing device to prick his or her skin. These devices are complex pieces of medical equipment that usually come with a range of settings. It's important that you know how to utilize these settings properly in order to reduce your child's discomfort.

Lancer devices come equipped with a range of numbers that determine how deep the needle penetrates the skin. Rather than setting your child's lancer device to the highest number, try putting it somewhere in the middle instead. This will probably produce enough blood for a viable blood-sugar test while reducing the depth of the needle penetration, making the sample-collection process less painful for your child.

3. Milk, don't squeeze.

Once the lancer device has pricked your child's finger, it can be tempting to squeeze the finger in order to generate a blood droplet for testing. This squeezing process can actually result in a higher level of pain.

Instead of squeezing, try milking your child's finger instead. Have your child hang his or her hand down to the side after pricking, then gently pull down on the finger to move blood to the fingertip for easier collection.

Reducing the amount of discomfort when collecting a blood sample will make it easier to manage future blood-sugar testing for children.