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Diabetes in children frustrated by fear of needles

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The parents of newly diagnosed diabetic children who are afraid of needles should be taught by nurses how to cope with this anxiety, according to recent research.

A study involving clinical nurse specialists, scientists and social workers in Pennsylvania, US, found that fear of needles is a barrier to an effective insulin routine in over 13% of newly diagnosed diabetic children.

The results showed that fear, distress and pain undermined parents’ ability to administer insulin and finger prick blood glucose tests, which has implications for their children’s long-term health.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Some of the fear of needles is caused by a parent's own fear of needles, or their fear of hurting their child. This fear is easily picked up by children. Both the parents and te children need to be taught coping strategies. I have effectively taught relaxation techniques to chilren as young as 4 (and their parents), which together with clear explanations have helped to reduce such fears.

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