Using a Blood Sugar Meter
Most blood sugar meters are pretty similar, but there can be differences between models. So make sure to follow your meter manufacturer’s instructions for calibrating (if necessary), setting the date and time, and using control solutions. Check the expiration date on your test strips to make sure they have not expired. Make sure to store them according to the manufacturer’s instructions—test strips that are kept in conditions that are too hot or humid may not work accurately. If you have any questions or problems, there is usually a toll-free number on the back of the meter that you can call for help. Also, read the instructions for a list of possible test sites.
You will need:
- Lancing device and lancet
- Test strip
- Cotton ball or tissue
- Blood glucose meter
Here’s how you do it:
- Make sure your hands and skin are clean, dry, and free of any lotion or residue. Soap or lotion on your skin can cause incorrect test results
- Puncture the skin where the testing is to be done with the lancing device. If there is a potential problem with hypoglycemia, use your child’s finger for testing instead of an alternative site
- Squeeze or milk out the amount of blood needed by your child’s meter. If you are using an alternative site, follow the meter manufacturer’s instructions
- Insert the strip into the meter and follow the instructions to see how the finger or other site should be held so the test strip can absorb the drop of blood
- Apply firm pressure with a cotton ball or tissue to the lanced site until bleeding stops
- Dispose of the lancet and test strip according to local waste disposal laws
- Record your child’s test results in their logbook
Keeping track of the readings
When you keep good records of your child’s blood sugar levels, you and your diabetes care team can make the best possible decisions about the diabetes care plan. You can keep track of the results in a blood sugar tracker or possibly in the meter itself (many meters have this feature). Or you can join Cornerstones4Care® and sign up for the Diabetes Health Coach to access the Interactive Blood Sugar Tracker.
In addition, many meters have computer programs that let you download your blood sugar results. Speak with your diabetes care team about a blood sugar meter that is right for you.