Using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) in young children has not been studied. But researchers, health care professionals, and parents know that glycemic control in children with diabetes is often limited by the fear of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose), but the opposite, hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), can actually contribute to risk for cognitive impairment. Parents are intrigued about whether CGMs could minimize both these risks.
Researchers gave CGMs to a group of children (with instructions for their parents!) who were less than four years old who had type 1 diabetes. After six months, they found that the risks, such as skin reactions to the adhesive, were minimal. But so were the changes in glycemic control – in fact, using a CGM did not result in a lower A1C at all. Instead, the CGM documented that high blood glucose levels were present more than half the day.
Thought CGM use did not improve glycemic control in this young group, it may help ease parents’ concerns of low blood glucose, and in the future may allow more confidence in treating high blood glucose.