Summer Tips with Diabetes

Erin Roehl, CDE

As the weather gets warmer and the grass gets greener, we know that summer is near! For kids of all ages, this might mean heading to summer camp, trips to the swimming pool, weekends at the cabin, and bike rides with friends. For children with diabetes, it is good to be prepared and plan ahead for whatever might come your way!

As activity levels change during the transition from school to summer vacation, keep close track of blood sugars! It is common for many children to need dose changes during the first few days of summer vacation. If you would like help reviewing glucose records, call the educators at 651-220-6624, option #2, fax to 651-220-6064, or send via MyChildren’s.

If you are planning to be outside in the sun and high temperatures for long periods of time you may want to look into an insulated diabetes bag to keep your insulin and test strips safe from the summer heat. Insulin and test strips should be kept between 36°F and 86°F and will begin to break down if kept outside that range or exposed to direct sunlight. If you’re seeing high blood sugars after exposure, open new insulin and start fresh! To stay cool try using a lunch box or cooler with a gel pack inside or check out these ice-free insulin bags from FRIO. These may be found at your local pharmacy as well.

For your activities and busy days, try an activity belt to help keep your pump or meter with you while you are on the go! These can be found at your local sporting goods store, just ask for a “runner’s belt” or see examples at flipbelt or spibelt.

For days with extra activities, consider reducing your basal insulin injection dose the night before, running a temp basal rate on your pump, or call the diabetes educators ahead of time to review blood sugars and create a plan. Also, be sure to pack your glucagon kit for long days or overnight trips.

Looking for a fun camp to try out? Consider Camp NeedlePoint or Camp Sweet Life! These are both diabetes-specific camps supported with a full endocrine team to keep your child safe. More info can be found about Camp NeedlePoint here and Camp Sweet Life here. Financial assistance options may be available within the application. Going to a different summer camp? Send your medical form to the diabetes educators to complete and send to the camp.

Nels Thompson