Camp and sleepovers present special challenges and also great opportunity. Your child can become more independent, taking on a greater share of his or her diabetic care.
Diabetes camp is an important part of growing up with diabetes, according to many pediartic endocrinologists. At camp, kids not only learn to take on greater responsibility for their diabetic care, but they have a chance to see hundreds of other kids, just like themselves. Plus, they simply have a great time.
Camp is also an important step for many parents, who are used to being in complete control of their child's diabetic care. The week of camp is often the first break from diabetes that many parents have. This is also an important learning experience, showing the parents that their child can do fine without their constant care. Many children return from camp proud of their new ability to do their own blood tests and shots, something they would not have done at home because mom or dad always did it for them.
There are diabetic camps throughout the United States and Canada. To find the camp nearest you, see our page on Camps for Children with Diabetes.
Your eight year old child has been invited to sleep over at a friend's house. She's dying to go, but you don't know how she'll take care of her blood tests and insulin. What do you do?
Here's some thoughts based on the experiences of Jeff and Brenda, whose daughter Marissa has slept over many times friends' houses.
- Marissa takes her last insulin shot at about 7:30 P.M., before her evening snack. We always wait until after this shot to send her on her way. She usually has snack at her friend's house.
- Marissa does her own blood tests, so we always have her test herself before she goes to bed, say at about 10:00 P.M. (remember, this is a sleepover). If her sugar level is lower than we like at bedtime, we ask her to have another snack.
- The next morning, at about 7:30 A.M., one of us goes over to her friend's house and gives her the morning insulin shot. This helps relieves some of the anxiety that might be felt by her friend's parents, since we're there. Plus we get a free cup of coffee!
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Last Updated: Wednesday March 16, 2005 15:45:13
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