What is high blood sugar emergency?

High Blood Sugar Emergency
Jump to

Treating high blood sugar in children

The best way to prevent high blood sugar emergencies is to treat high blood sugar as soon as your child has symptoms or has a blood sugar level that is well above the target range. Your doctor will give your child blood sugar goals and recommend ways to treat high blood sugar. Here are some general guidelines.

  • Treat mild to moderate high blood sugar.

    Follow these steps if your child's blood sugar is over the target range set by the doctor. For example, that might be over 200 mg/dL for two or more readings a few hours apart.

    • If your child missed a usual dose of diabetes medicine, give your child the missed dose.
    • If your doctor prescribed a dose of fast-acting insulin based on the blood sugar level (sliding scale), give your child the appropriate dose. If not, call your child's doctor for advice.
    • Test your child for ketones, if the doctor has advised you to do so. Call your child's doctor if the results show a moderate-to-large amount of ketones.
    • Wait 30 minutes after giving the extra insulin or the missed medicine. Then check your child's blood sugar again.
    • Give your child extra liquids to replace the fluids lost through urine. Water and sugar-free drinks are best.
  • Know when to take action.
    • Call the doctor if your child's symptoms of high blood sugar become more noticeable or if the blood sugar level continues to rise.
    • Get emergency help if your child gets drowsy or disoriented or if blood sugar continues to rise (for example, above 350 mg/dL).
  • Recheck extremely high blood sugar.

    Follow these steps if your child's blood sugar is extremely high—for example, over 600 mg/dL. Some blood sugar meters read only levels up to about 400 mg/dL.

    • Wash your child's finger carefully before checking again. Sometimes sugar on the skin will cause a high reading.
    • If the meter reads high, test the accuracy of the meter, and then recheck your child's blood sugar.
    • If the meter reads high again, call your child's doctor for advice or seek emergency care.

How can you prevent a blood sugar emergency when you have diabetes?

An important part of living with diabetes is keeping your blood sugar in your target range. You'll need to know what to do if it's too high or too low. Managing your blood sugar levels helps you avoid emergencies. This care sheet will teach you about the signs of high and low blood sugar. It will help you make an action plan with your doctor for when these signs occur.

Low blood sugar is more likely to happen if you take certain medicines for diabetes. It can also happen if you skip a meal, drink alcohol, or exercise more than usual.

You may get high blood sugar if you eat differently than you normally do. One example is eating more carbohydrate than usual. Having a cold, the flu, or other sudden illness can also cause high blood sugar levels. Levels can also rise if you miss a dose of medicine.

Any change in how you take your medicine may affect your blood sugar level. So it's important to work with your doctor before you make any changes.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.