Nintendo/Bayer Team To Offer Incentive For Kids To Test Blood Sugar
By Mike Boyle

The key to managing diabetes is monitoring blood sugar levels. And while that can often be a chore for adults, it can be an even bigger challenge for kids.

Telling the Washington Post that she often recommends parents offer incentives to their kids such as an iTunes download to get them to test regularly, Fran Cogen, director of the Child/Adolescent Diabetes Program at Children`s National Medical Center says the reason kids are often resistant to testing is "it takes them away from other activities, sets them apart from kids who don`t have diabetes. And skin pricking can be a nuisance."

Well, two companies, electronic game maker Nintendo and Bayer HealthCare have now teamed to offer kids an incentive to do their required blood sugar testing.

With the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Bayer now offers a blood sugar meter - dubbed "Didget" – which connects with Nintendo`s DS and DS Lite gaming systems. Kids who test their blood sugar as prescribed by their doctor get access to higher levels in certain games as well as entry into a "diabetes world" where they can communicate with other gamers who have diabetes.

Cogen also cautioned against punishing children for not testing. Via the Washington Post article she reminds parents not to reward kids for a specific blood sugar level, as other medical factors, such as a cold, could affect that number. Cogan also warned that children shouldn`t be allowed to over-test just to earn the incentive. "We want diabetes to fit into a child`s life, and not make it an all-consuming activity," Cogen says.

Learn more about the Bayer "Didget" meter here, and the Nintendo DS and DS Light gaming systems here. Both would need to be purchased separately.


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Originally posted June 1, 2010.


(Photo Credit: Bayer HealthCare)