The thought of sleepovers bring joy to the minds of hearts of kids, but for parent of children with type 1 diabetes, it can be downright stressful. Questions like “What if my child goes low in the middle of the night?” or “Will they know how to count carbs?” may be on your mind.
The good news is that with a little planning, your child can participate in sleepovers just like other kids. Diabetic Lifestyle Magazine has put together a great top 10 list for Sleepovers. Here’s a quick summary of some of the things you can do to put your mind at ease.
Contact the parents ahead of time – Let them know your child has type 1 diabetes. They will likely have questions about your child’s care and the role they will play while your child is at their home. This will also allow you to setup a time with them to educate them on the basics of diabetes care.
Talk about the meal plan – Staying up late and eating snacks are a part of having sleepovers. Talk to the parents about the importance of your child receiving insulin for everything they eat and work with them to prepare carbohydrate counts in advance. You can also pack healthy snacks as a backup.
Have a communication plan – figure out ahead of time how blood sugars will be communicated to you and let the parents know that it is okay to call you with questions (day or night.)
Be prepared with supplies – You don’t want a call in the middle of the night because the pump has run out of insulin.
- Blood glucose checking supplies like test strips, lancets, glucose meter and alcohol wipes
- Insulin delivery supplies like an insulin pens or vial, syringes and any insulin pump supplies
- Supplies to treat low blood glucose like glucose tablets, snacks, or glucagon
- Other essentials such as a list of emergency phone numbers or other daily medication
Speak with your child about their role – a night away from home doesn’t mean a “free pass” on diabetes. Discuss checking blood sugars, carbohydrate counting and grazing with your child. With a little preparation, children with type 1 diabetes can enjoy this rite of passage and create memories for years to come.