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Uncontrolled diabetes: A difficult mother or a mother in difficulty?

Young children with diabetes (YCD) are a particularly vulnerable group because they are reliant on adult carers in their management. Diabetes treating teams (DTT) have a responsibility towards YCD targeting good glycemic control (GC) to improve quality of life and reduce risk of complications. It can be difficult, however, in occasions to balance between providing support for struggling families and considering safeguarding YCD who are not well looked after by carers in their management. We report a 6-year-old girl with type 1 diabetes with HbA1c ranged between 10.7% and 15.7%. A number of social factors have influenced her diabetes control including parental separation, maternal mental health concerns and lack of family support. Each time, these issues have been addressed, and also when grandparents were involved, a transient short-lived improvement in GC was observed. However, there were always ongoing concerns about mother's lack of engagement with the DTT. Similar cases continue to pose significant challenges for DTT, worldwide. A balance should be kept between providing adequate support for such families against a possible need for safeguarding YCD. Using a patient centered approach, if there is no improvement in GC despite taking all measures to support mothers or families who struggle with their YCD management, it becomes difficult to justify not involving the safeguarding team and social services.

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Journal article
Wolters Kluwer India Pvt Ltd
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Journal Titles
Journal of Family Medicine & Primary Care
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