Most patients who have Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes use insulin syringes to take insulin. Unlike insulin pens or insulin pumps, insulin syringes require drawing insulin from a separate insulin vial before an injection can be given. Although some people with diabetes find this inconvenient, the advantages of insulin syringes are that they are cost effective and widely available.
Children with Type 1 diabetes use both long-acting and
fast-acting insulin. Many children with Type 2 diabetes also use insulin.
Long-acting insulin begins to lower your child's blood glucose within one to
two hours and continues to lower blood glucose for up to 24 hours. Fast-acting insulin
begins to lower your child's blood glucose within 15 minutes but only lasts for
three to four hours. Some insulin is intermediate-acting, lowering blood
glucose within one to two hours and lasting for up to 15 hours.
Unopened insulin vials should be stored in the refrigerator. Opened insulin vials should be stored in your refrigerator or at room temperature and discarded if not used after 30 days. You should also throw away your child's insulin vial if it froze, sat in a hot car for any length of time or is cloudy, clumped or particles stick to the glass of the vial.
A parent or caregiver must give insulin injections to a child until the child learns how to give their own injections without assistance.
You or your child will follow a personalized insulin regimen that is based on the type of diabetes your child has and his or her individual insulin needs.
The insulin regimen used most often involves checking the blood sugar before breakfast, lunch and dinner and before an evening snack or when your child goes to bed. If needed, a corrective dose is given at meals to bring down high blood sugars. A food dose is also given based on the number of carbohydrates eaten. These two doses are combined into one injection of fast-acting insulin.
Snacks high in carbohydrates require a food dose. Depending on your child’s age and stage of diagnosis, corrective doses may or may not be recommended at snack times. Check with your child's doctor to see if he or she needs a corrective dose at snack time or bedtime.
Food and corrective doses are given with fast-acting insulin, such as Humalog, NovoLog and Apidra. Fast-acting insulin doses must be separated by at least two hours. If given closer than that, a low blood sugar could result. Blood sugars between meals are controlled by long-acting insulin, such as Lantus or Levemir. Lantus is given once a day at the same time every day. Your family will choose a time that works with your schedule. The dose is the same every day. Levemir can be given once or twice a day at a fixed time with a fixed dose.
Another insulin regimen uses a sliding scale to determine the insulin dose. Blood sugar is checked before the meal and the insulin dose is chosen from a sliding scale based on the blood sugar. The insulin for the food is built into the scale. Use of the sliding scale regimen requires eating a fixed amount of carbohydrates at each meal and snack. The long-acting insulin is still a set amount given at a set time once or twice a day.
At first, insulin regimens can be confusing. Your diabetes educator will explain your child's regimen to you in detail.
Keeping track of your child’s blood sugar is an essential part of managing diabetes. Some parents like using a logbook or software spreadsheet. There are also apps for smart phones that can be used. Below are forms we have created that you can use as well:
Follow the steps below to administer a dose of insulin with a syringe:
Follow the steps below to administer a mixed dose of cloudy and clear insulin with a syringe:
When mixing cloudy and clear insulin remember the following:
If insulin or blood leaks out of the injection site or your child experiences pain or bruising, follow the advice below:
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.
Sort through 6 facilities offering Insulin Syringes care by entering your city or zip below.