Managing Sleepovers with Diabetes

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Here’s a great, brief article that came from the American Diabetes Association’s Parents eNewsletter.

Tips for Sleepovers

The following section was taken from posts on the Place for Parents Message Board on diabetes.org. These tips should not replace advice and/or recommendations from a health care provider but reflect issues that parents deal with day-to-day.

“I know my 7–year old daughter who has diabetes will start to be invited to sleepovers soon. Do you let your kids go on sleepovers? How do you deal with it??”

Parent to Parent -

  • We have a policy. If our daughter is going through a wacky BG numbers time period the sleepover has to be at our house. No exceptions. We tell her yes, we know it’s unfair, but it is what it is and we have to do what’s best for her.
  • If my daughter’s numbers are OK at night, she can sleepover at someone else’s house, but she has to call me at 11:00pm with her BG number.
  • We start with only allowing her to spend the night at close friend’s homes. Between her being able to do the BG tests on her own and a parent who is willing to learn what to do in various situations( make a cheat sheet), we feel one’s safe.
  • We actually do what we call 1/2 sleepovers for our eight year-old daughter and friend. We do the dinner, get on the jammies, make the snack, watch the movie and then her parents pick her up when it’s bedtime. Maybe that can be a compromise for your daughter, if it works out that she’s just not able to spend the night, for whatever reason
  • You can plan to have most of the sleepovers at your house. Set it up so your house is the coolest!


Expert to Parent:

When your child is ready for sleepovers, the thought of a night away from home may make you nervous. But with a little planning and preparation your child can have fun and be safe at sleepovers.

Be sure that the parent of your child’s friend knows your child has type 1 diabetes and is comfortable with a sleepover.

You can help the parent be prepared to care for your child overnight by:

  • Providing your contact information so the parent can reach you with questions.
  • Making parents aware of your child’s diabetes regimen including food requirements. (A short written summary may be helpful.)
  • Making the parent and your child’s friend aware of your child’s signs and symptoms of low blood glucose as well as how to respond to lows.
  • Agreeing on an emergency care plan both you and the parent are comfortable with.

Along with their toothbrush and pajamas, be sure your child packs their diabetes supplies. Don’t forget to remind your child to always wear their medical ID bracelet or necklace!

Include:

  • Insulin
  • Syringes or Pens (and pen needles)
  • Blood glucose (BG) testing supplies
  • Pump/CGM supplies
  • Glucose tablets or other fast acting sugar to treat low BG
  • Snacks

Harold Starkman, MD is Director of the BD Diabetes Center for Children and Adolescents at the Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ.

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