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September 21, 2003

Exercise and Sports

Question from Wenatchee, Washington, USA:

I am coaching soccer for four to six year olds, and a little boy on my team was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The mother expects me to know these things because I am a medical professional. The fact is, I am a urology technician with little experience in such matters. I want to be there for this family, and I feel a duty to be prepared. I am just looking for a little advice on things to be aware of (warning signs, symptoms of potential problems ) and ways to deal with any potential situations. Any tips you can provide me with will be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

The Information for Teachers within the pages of this website is an excellent resource and should provide you with the information you are looking for. More detailed information about the management of diabetes during exercise can be found in the book by The Diabetic Athlete by Sheri Colberg and Edward Horton.

This family is lucky to have someone with your empathy and interest involved in the care of their child. Be honest about your lack of experience, but express your willingness to learn and to play a supportive role in this child’s active life with diabetes. If after review of the suggested resources, you have additional questions, please feel free to write again.

DMW