Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar in Children

Learn how to spot the symptoms of low blood sugar in children in order to keep them safe and happy. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, happens when blood glucose plummets below a normal level. Extremely low blood sugar levels can lead to severe symptoms that require medical attention.

Symptoms
Symptoms of hypoglycemia differ from child to child. Likewise, the blood glucose level that triggers symptoms differs depending on the person. While some symptoms might be associated with other health issues, a health professional should be consulted if your child experiences these signs.

  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Cold sweat
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Extreme hunger or stomach ache pain
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Night sweats - common in children who experience hypoglycemia during the night
  • Nightmares
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Paleness
  • Seizures
  • Shakiness
  • Unsteady when walking
  • Weakness

Here's Your Sign
When blood sugar levels drop, adrenaline is released into the body. This prompts stored glucose to enter the bloodstream. When this happens, your child may become pale, experience shakiness, start sweating or feel an increase in heart rate.

If hypoglycemia isn't treated, severe symptoms can occur. These may include confusion, seizures and loss of consciousness.

Testing for Hypoglycemia
A glucose meter tests blood sugar levels. The device measures the amount of glucose from a blood sample, usually taken when a finger is lanced or pricked by the meter. A child with low blood sugar should be treated immediately.

Treatment Options
If your child experiences hypoglycemia, have him eat or drink a fast-acting glucose product, like a glucose gel. Soft drinks or orange juice can also help regulate blood sugar levels. Symptoms should dissipate in 10 minutes.

Recheck your child's blood sugar level. If the level has increased, offer your child a food that will maintain the appropriate level.

It is important to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia and treating them immediately. Talk to your child about how he feels when symptoms arise. This may help you prepare for the next time his blood sugar levels drop.

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