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I have an eleven year old boy who was diagnosed with diabetes 9 months ago. His father and I are divorced and we differ in our views on cleanliness for him. His father doesn't think he needs to wash his hands each time he tests or injects and he thinks its okay to use lancets over and over for a week at a time. My son does not use alcohol swabs when injecting. He must do all these things when he is with me. Am I just overreacting? Is it okay if he is not being as careful as I? We are still learning and I would love some advice.


Cleanliness is important. Hands should be washed prior to fingersticks, just as one washes hands before eating. Injection sites ideally should be clean, too, although there have several reports now showing that even injecting through clothing seems to be okay (there was some discussion recently in the Diabetes Forecast about this).

Lancets and syringes can be reused for sure (See Reuse Your Syringes and Lancets) but they get pretty dull after a short while and hurt more. Since your child is eleven, let him decide whether to reuse his syringes and lancets.


[Editor's comment: See The Safety of Injecting Insulin Through Clothing from Diabetes Care, Volume 20 Number 3, March 1997. JSH]

Original posting 19 Aug 97


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