The diagnosis of type 1 diabetes for your child can be overwhelming. Children with diabetes have to balance a lot, often forcing them to grow up in a hurry. This can leave them feeling as if nobody understands how they feel or know what it’s like to live everyday with diabetes.
One simple way to support your child is to make sure they are included with their peers in group activities, sports, and/or field trips. Controlling T1D isn’t just about balancing insulin and diet, but also includes exercise. Developing a lifestyle that encourages exercise will require some additional preparation, but will be well worth the effort.
Make sure the staff/coaches are aware of what type 1 diabetes is, and what to do if problems occur. The goal is to educate them about general diabetes management, including how to recognize signs of lows and highs, having diabetes supplies to test for glucose levels and administering insulin.
Carrying a kit that has all of their snacks, water, and supplies (for testing/administering insulin) in one place that will help avoid any problems that might arise during the day or during exercise. When planning for more strenuous activities throughout the day, your child may need to have an extra snack prior to activity, as well as during or after exercise.
About 30 grams of carbohydrate (good to eat before exercise)
- ½ peanut butter sandwich (1 slice whole wheat bread + 1 Tablespoon peanut butter) + 1 cup milk
- 1 medium banana + 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
Snacks can help curb hunger while adding a nutritious energy boost to your child’s day. Living life with diabetes can be a challenge, but it does not need to be insurmountable.
Submitted by: Aimee Greenholtz