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Diabetes Education

New onset diabetes education

We understand that a new diagnosis of diabetes comes with a lot of information for parents and caregivers to absorb. That’s why Children’s Mercy is one of just a few diabetes centers nationwide to provide outpatient new onset diabetes education to children older than four and their families.

If your child is experiencing a new diagnosis of diabetes, you'll receive personalized training at three outpatient visits over the course of one month. 

This approach gives you time to process information in between your visits with your care team, which includes a physician, certified diabetes educators (nurse and dietitian) and a social worker. The team is available to you by phone and patient portal for questions that come up between your visits.

Class content

Right after a new diagnosis of diabetes, we’ll set up an appointment time for your first educational visit.

At your initial visit, you’ll see a doctor first thing, and then spend the day in classes full of resources and instructions on things you need to know right away, such as planning meals and snacks and how to check your child’s blood glucose levels.

Our certified diabetes educators will help you every step of the way. They’ll act as your guide while you learn how to handle the everyday details of diabetes care.

One to two weeks after that, you’ll come back to see your doctor, learn more about managing your child’s diabetes and ask any questions about your experiences since your first visit.

Our goal is to help you feel as prepared as possible to help your child as you work together to manage their diabetes.

Inpatient stay

The outpatient sessions work well for most families. However, children under four, or those who come to Children’s Mercy with diabetic ketoacidosis or other complications, will be admitted to the hospital, where our education team will teach you throughout your child’s hospital stay.

Diabetes calculators

During your education we will explain how to use diabetes management calculators to manage insulin and ketones. Follow the links below for quick access to the calculators.

Diabetes insulin dose calculator

The Diabetes Insulin Dose Calculator uses data you input to determine the proper insulin dosage to provide before eating. 

Ketone management calculator

Use the Ketone Management Calculator to check for ketones if blood sugar is above 240 mg/dL. Then, follow the action plan provided.

Living with diabetes

How to check your blood glucose

  1. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water OR use alcohol swab. Make sure fingers are dry before testing.

  2. Insert test strip into meter.

  3. Set depth of lancing device (higher number is deeper) and slide the cocking handle back.

  4. Hold finger below heart level. Place lancing device firmly on side of the finger and press button. Do not use pads or tips of fingers.

  5. Squeeze from the palm of the hand down to the tip of the finger to obtain sample.

  6. Touch blood sample to test strip. Meter will count down your result.

Important tips

  • Meter will hold all blood glucose data in its memory, so please make sure time and date are always accurate.

  • Please bring all meters to endocrine/diabetes clinic appointments.

  • Change lancet every 24 hours and dispose of used lancet in sharps container.

  • Use a new test strip with every check.

  • Rotate lancing sites and do not overuse the same finger.

  • Insurance will likely dictate which monitor you receive, but any of the many available will provide accurate blood glucose results.

New onset glucometer teaching


General tips

  • Plan ahead for vacations and take twice the amount you may need for supplies.
  • You can research drug company websites for discount cards.
  • Check with your insurance for coverage, deductibles and copays.
  • Prescriptions can be written for 30 or 90 days, depending on insurance.
  • If insurance prefers 90 days, they may require you to use mail order.
  • If you switch pharmacies, have the new one contact the old one and they can transfer all your prescriptions.
  • Some insurance plans change their preferred drug list on January 1, which could require you to change the brand of your medication.

Working with the Children’s Mercy Diabetes Team

  • Make sure we always have your most current insurance information.
  • If you lose insurance coverage, call the Diabetes Team right away!
  • Have your pharmacy call the Diabetes Team for refills. Refills can take up to 72 business hours. You need to wait 30 or 90 days between refills or insurance may not cover.

For PAs (prior authorization)

  • If your medication requires a prior authorization it can take up to 5 business days.
  • Your insurance can require you try their preferred product first.
  • We don’t do PAs for products that have a preferred equivalent.
  • If you need a PA, have the pharmacy fax us the info first.
  • A PA won’t bring down the cost of the medication.

Contact information and directions

Classes are located at the Children’s Mercy Broadway Clinic. Parking is free in the attached garage.

Call the Diabetes Team weekdays from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at (816) 960-8803.

After hours and on weekends, call (816) 234-3188 and ask for the diabetes doctor on call.

Please state if the child has Type 1 Diabetes.

You can also reach your diabetes team through the Patient Portal.