Diabetic Child; Having a child with diabetes doesn’t mean that your family can’t travel safely. And your diabetic little one doesn’t have to miss out on overnight trips. With a little preparation, your child can have fun on that field trip or family vacation while keeping diabetes symptoms safely under control.
Caring for diabetes while traveling – Diabetic Child
Here are some general tips on how to care for your child’s diabetes when you are away from home.
- Take plenty of medical supplies: Pack a small ice chest or a customized case with all the insulin, syringes and other supplies your child might need, along with his or her blood glucose meter and extra test strips. Pack more than you think your child will need, just to be safe.
- Don’t check your supply case: If you are flying, take your case of supplies as carry-on luggage. Ask the airline in advance if you can take syringes on board and whether you will need a note from your child’s doctor.
- Carry lots of snacks: Especially if you are facing a long car or plane trip, bring a variety of healthy snacks, water, juice boxes and candy or glucose tablets for emergencies.
- Plan ahead for time zone changes: Talk to your child’s doctor for guidelines on minimizing the effects of cross-country travel. Especially if you are flying, the quick time changes may mean a longer or shorter day for your child, which could require more or less insulin.
- Check blood glucose more often: This is a good idea on trips that will take you across time zones. But even on a shorter trip, it’s hard to stick to the usual routine. Checking your child’s blood glucose frequently will allow you to stay on top of any potential problems.
- Have your child wear a medical ID: Provide your youngster with an ID bracelet or pendant to give emergency personnel information on his or her condition – vital if you were separated in an unfamiliar city or if your child is traveling without you.
Educate responsible adults
When your child travels without you — whether to an overnight sleepover or to summer camp — it’s important to do more than just tell the grownups that your little one has medical needs. Make sure that at least one responsible adult knows specifically how to take care of diabetes. How much detail they need depends on the length of your child’s stay in their care, but at minimum, adults should know how to deal with an episode of low or high blood sugar. You should also make sure your child has an age-appropriate understanding of his or her own condition.
By educating both your little one and any other adults who’ll be in charge of his or her care, you can make trips away from home both fun and as safe and healthy as possible.