There are many ways to deal with an insulin reaction. Many adults use candy, fruit juice or soft drinks. But with children, the specially made glucose products are an excellent alternative for four reasons:
- No matter how good they might taste, no one will confuse these products for candy. Since children with diabetes often struggle with diet and use food as a weapon in their relationship with their parents, emergency glucose products will not be a factor in food problems.
- Since they won't be confused for candy, they won't disappear without your knowledge, leaving you potentially without emergency glucose in an emergency.
- Emergency glucose products deliver precise dosages, allowing you better control when you need it most. This also helps at school with teachers.
- Emergency glucose products are packaged to last. Some have a shelf life of five years. You'll never have to worry about something being stale.
Emergency glucose isn't any good if you don't have it with you. The The Quick-Fix Keychain attaches to your key ring and holds four round emergency glucose tablets (e.g., DEX4). Highly Recommended.
The table below lists both tablet and gel emergency glucose products. Gels are very good for infants and toddlers, since no chewing is required. Gels and cake frosting are also very helpful for groggy children who are having a severe insulin reaction and might spit out a tablet or choke on it as they chew. The gels will have an effect even if placed in the mouth and rubbed into the cheek and gums.
Finally, be sure you understand Mini-Dose Glucagon Rescue for Hypoglycemia in Children With Type 1 Diabetes -- just in case.
Emergency Glucose for Treatment of Hypoglycemia Product Manufacturer Carbs Caloriess Flavors Package Tablets Dex4 Tablets Perrigo 4 gm per tablet 15 cals per tablet Grape, lemon, orange, raspberry, watermelon 10-tablet tubes or 50-tablet bottle GlucoLift GlucoLift 4 grams per tablet 15 cals per tablet Wild Berry, Orange Cream, Cherry 40-count bottle TRUEplus™ Glucose tablet Nipro Diagnostics 4 gm per tablet 15 cals per tablet Grape, Raspberry, and Orange 10-tablet tubes or 50-tablet bottle Gels Dex4 Gel Perrigo 17 grams per tube 70 cals per tube Tropical Fruit Single tube LevelLife Gel Level Foods 15 grams per tube 60 cals per tube Vanilla, Strawberry Banana, Caramel, Mandarin Orange One tube Glutose Gel Paddock Labs, Inc.
15 gm per dose 60 cals per dose Lemon Three-dose tube or three one-dose bottles Insta-Glucose Valeant Pharmaceuticals
24 gm per dose 96 cals per dose Cherry Single dose plastic tube or three-tube Tri-Pak. Tubes are not resealable. TRUEplus™ Glucose Gel Nipro Diagnostics 15 gm per tube 70 calories per tube Cherry and Lemon-Lime Single tube Cake Frosting (small tube) Several vendors 3-4 gm per tube 25 calories per tube Various flavors and colors Single tube Liquids Dex4 Liquid Perrigo 16 grams per bottle 70 cals per bottle Berry Burst Single bottle TRUEplus™ Shot Nipro Diagnostics 15 grams per bottle 70 cals per bottle Orange, Lemon-Lime, and Mixed Berry Single bottle Candy Lifesavers Candy Nabisco Foods
Winston-Salem, NC (USA)
2 gm per candy 8 cals per candy Wintergreen (reviewed here) Due to their almost world-wide availability, Lifesavers are a reasonable treatment for insulin reactions. Smarties Candies Ce De Candy, Inc.
Union, New Jersey (USA)
5 gm per dose (1 roll) 25 cals per dose Assorted Probably the least expensive emergency glucose available. Spree Sunline Brands
St. Louis, MO (USA)
13 gm per dose (8 pieces) 60 cals per dose Assorted Spree are usually found next to SweeTarts. They are essentially SweeTarts with a hard sucrose candy coating. SweeTarts (bag) Sunline Brands
St. Louis, MO (USA)
11 gm per dose (2 rolls of 12 candies each) 50 cals per dose Assorted Comes in a bag with about 34 rolls, with 12 candies per roll. One serving is two rolls, or 24 candies. SweeTarts (large roll) Sunline Brands
St. Louis, MO (USA)
12 gm per dose (8 pieces) 60 cals per dose Assorted This is a roll of the larger SweeTarts. The roll is about seven inches long with 27 candies.
- The Quick-Fix Keychain attaches to your key ring and holds four emergency glucose tablets.
For Additional Information
- Poll: What do you or your child most often use to treat hypoglycemia? (from October 2013)
- Hypoglycemia questions from "Ask the Diabetes Team"
- An insulin reaction requires immediate medical attention.
- Never give food to an unconscious person. Use a glucagon injection, followed by food when they awaken.
- If your child doesn't respond quickly to emergency glucose, telephone 911 or your local emergency medical response center at once.
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