4. Blood glucose monitoring


Blood glucose measurements are IMPORTANT for children and young people with diabetes to:

  • monitor blood glucose control to make sure that the amount of insulin you are getting is just right for you!

  • look for high or low glucose levels so that they can be treated if needed

  • monitor and treat diabetes during exercise and illness



How to do a Blood Glucose test


When should you do Blood Glucose testing?

At the time of diagnosis, children and young people with type 1 diabetes should monitor their blood glucose levels:

  • before breakfast

  • before lunch

  • before dinner, and

  • before bed.

If you have type 2 diabetes, then you may be able to monitor your blood glucose levels less often, depending on the treatment you need.

Your diabetes team will talk to you and your family and put together a plan for testing, with times for testing your blood glucose levels that are just right for you.

Sometimes overnight blood glucose testing or continuous blood glucose testing is also required.

Blood Glucose records



All children and young people with diabetes need to keep accurate records of their blood glucose levels. In the period following diagnosis families will need to call the Diabetes Nurse Specialists every day with these levels so that changes to your insulin doses can be safely calculated.

What's a blood glucose level target?

Blood glucose target

No - not that kind of target!!

A blood glucose level target is where we think your blood glucose levels should be, to keep you well. When you meet with your diabetes team, they may give you your own blood glucose level targets that have been worked out just for you. 

 Generally target ranges for blood glucose levels are:

  • before meals    4 to 7mmol/l

  • after meals       5 to 10mmol/l

  • at bedtime        6 to 10mmol/l

  • at 3am              5 to 8mmol/l

How to record blood glucose levels in a diabetes log book

You can read a transcript of this video here.

How to use computer software to record blood glucose levels

You can read a transcript of this video here

Disposal of Lancets

(Getting rid of the sharp bit in your finger-pricking device) - you're going to need an adult for this bit!

The lancets that are used within the finger-pricking device should be changed at least every 2-3 days. This reduces pain and also reduces the risk of infection.

Lancets must be disposed of in approved sharp disposal containers. You can get these from Diabetes Auckland or your local pharmacy for a small fee. Once the sharp disposal container is full, it must be sealed with the approved lid and returned to the place you bought it from for disposal.

You can read a transcript of this video here.

Blood Glucose Testing - an overview. Let's go over the main points we've just covered. Ready?

Think you've got it sorted now?

If you and your parent/carer have read through the information above and watched the videos, and you feel confident that you can do this yourselves, print off and fill in the evaluation form below (you might need to ask someone to print this off for you) and return to the nurse on your ward. If you have any questions, note them down on this form and your diabetes nurse specialist will discuss them with you.

Blood Glucose Testing: Evaluation

My child and I have read the information above and watched the videos on taking a blood glucose measurement. I feel confident in supporting my child to:

Undertake a blood glucose test using a blood glucose testing meter  
Document their blood glucose levels into the diabetes log book provided by the diabetes team  
Describe the targets for blood glucose levels for my child  
Describe why your child may need additional overnight blood glucose tests  
Remove the lancet from the finger-pricking device and dispose of it in an approved sharps container