In the fifth inning of the little league game you notice your son is not running at his usual break-neck speed. Because of Zach’s diabetes, you ask the coach to pull him out of game. When Zach tells you he feels a little dizzy, you realize that, in the rush of getting to the game on time, Zach skipped lunch. Zach’s dizziness and slowed speed are symptoms of hypoglycemia. You quickly give Zach glucose gel from the MacGill First Aid Kit that you keep in the car, he’s feeling better within minutes.
Zach experienced an insulin reaction called hypoglycemia, low blood glucose or low blood sugar. This situation requires immediate medical attention. Glucose is an important source of energy for the body. Diabetics and other people with hypoglycemia run out of energy when their glucose levels drop too low. These reactions can occur suddenly and can lead to unconsciousness if not treated in a timely matter.
Glucose levels can be brought back to normal by eating or drinking carbohydrates. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends diabetics and other people with hypoglycemia always have something containing 15 grams of glucose with them at all times. Many adults use candy, fruit juice or soft drinks. Oral glucose gel is an over-the-counter medication consisting primarily of dextrose and water. Glucose products (like gels) are an excellent alternative for children for four reasons:
- Children will not consume them by choice. Emergency glucose products do not tempt diabetic kids who struggle with staying away from the sugary foods that are dangerous for them.
- People might eat your emergency supply of candy or other sugary treats by accident, leaving you leaving you without glucose in an emergency situation. No one will drink the emergency glucose by mistake, so you’ll always have some on-hand.
- Emergency glucose products deliver precise dosages, allowing better control.
- Glucose gels are convenient and easy to administer.
To administer glucose, insert the tip of an open tube into the corner of the mouth between the lower gum and cheek. Slowly squeeze a small amount into the person’s mouth. After a small amount is swallowed, gently squeeze a bit more from the tube. Continue slowly squeezing small amounts until the tube is empty. Within five minutes of swallowing the glucose, the person should be able to answer questions. Once fully recovered, check and correct blood sugar as usually managed by the diabetic or person with hypoglycemia and check in with your doctor.
If your child doesn’t respond quickly to emergency glucose, telephone 911 or your local emergency medical response center immediately.
Preventing insulin reactions like Zach’s by managing diabetes and hypoglycemia with diet and doctor-prescribed treatments is always the best solution. But in the event of an emergency, having glucose like the one found in the MacGill First Aid Kit on hand can save lives.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only.
Possible side effects of glucose gel: All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have none, or minor, side effects. No COMMON side effects have been reported with this product. Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur: Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue). This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.