Summer can mean changes for you or your child’s diabetes regimen. Children might be on different eat, sleep and play schedules.
Summer classes and camps will be available. Despite your age, if you have diabetes be prepared for warmer temperatures.
• The heat can cause blood glucose (BG) to fluctuate.
• Drink fluids. Dehydration can cause BG results to be misleading.
• Protect insulin and testing supplies. Avoid freezing your insulin in a cooler or leaving in high temperatures, such as in the car. If you wear an insulin pump, find some protection from the sun and heat occasionally.
• Wear sunscreen. Sunburn is an injury and can cause your BG to rise.
• Be prepared for poison ivy, insect and spider bites. Check with your doctor about possible side effects of steroid medicines on BG.
• Sandals and flip flops are easy summer wear, but check your feet daily for injuries.
• For snacks, be prepared for increased activity and perhaps the need for more carbohydrate-rich snacks. Also be aware that some of the snacks that were used in cooler temperatures might melt.
Stock up on some low-sugar drinks and snacks as well for the lazy days of summer. Involve your child in planning the meals and snacks to ensure he will be willing to eat what you prepare.
If you are sending your child to a day/sports camp, some suggestions from the American Diabetes Association are:
• How and when to check BG. Demonstrate how to use your child's meter.
• Your child's target BG range. Provide detailed instructions on what to do if the BG is high or low.
• Your child's signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and what to do if these occur.
• What to do in an emergency situation.
• Share the news. Make sure coaches or other adults they designate are aware that your child has diabetes, can recognize symptoms and know what to do.
• Check it. Your child should test BG level before physical activity and again, every half-hour during activity.
• Cool down. The effects of physical activity may not show up immediately afterward. Keep on eye on BG levels for up to 24 hours, especially after strenuous activity.