Saturday, 17 September 2011

Why is there so much misinformation?

Every once in a while something comes up, or is said which upsets us parents of children with diabetes. Usually it is an off the cuff comment, such as 'is it the bad type of diabetes?' and we know that it is not meant with malace. However, if the person who said it stopped and thought about what they were saying they would understand why we get upset. That said it is apparent to me that the general population who don't live with this condition truly don't understand how serious the condition is, and actually it isn't really their fault. This is because there is so much misinformation out there in the public domain. You only have to think back to the recent diabetes awareness campaign where Llyods pharmacy failed to distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. What do you do though when your 8 year old child, who has diabetes brings home from school their reading book, and in this book there is a character called 'Sugar Free Sean.' The child in the book has diabetes, hence the name, and is bullied. He has his lunch taken away, and thrown down the toilet, and is kicked. If that wasn't bad enough, the book is full of medical inaccuracies, such as 'he was hypo on the toilet floor, so they fetched his insulin kit!!' If you give insulin to a person who is hypo you could kill them!!! Obviously the mother of the child, and the child himself were upset by what they were reading. So quite rightly have complained. It was also mentioned on a FB page and also on an e mail list. So, once again the CWD parents sprung into action. We e mailed our schools to ask if the book could be removed. We e mailed the publishers of the book and some contacted the author. This got me thinking, how did a book with so many inaccuracies get published in the first place. The author surely should have researched the subject. It must have been passed to proof readers, shouldn't they have picked up on it? What about the publishers themselves, surely Oxford University Press have a duty to ensure that the books that they produce are factually correct. In response to the complaints OUP are recalling the book, and are going to work with CWD to insure that they get the information correct, but what about the children who have already read the book to their parents? This is part of the reason why there is such ignorance surrounding type 1 diabetes. The general public are constantly misinformed. It doesn't happen with other conditions, and we really need to change that. So, I will continue to write this blog, and run marathons.....whatever it takes to get the message across.

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