Summer Camps and T1D kids
This month’s blog is not so much an informative piece as it is an information-sharing tool I am hoping can add to my knowledge base surrounding the subject. Any of you guys who follow me on Twitter know well by now that my industry and academic life is entirely devoted to diabetes but specifically Type 1 diabetes. For somebody like me who is also not a T1D or has somebody close to me who is a T1D, it can often be difficult to understand and appreciate particular day to day challenges people with T1D face. I mean after all unless you are positioned in a direct situation, the entire book smarts; academic information, and research and industry knowledge can only take you so far.
Back to this months topic and as with seasonal changes the type of questions I am asked change in accordance (maybe there’s a research paper in that) but that’s for another time. This month has seen the rise and rise of summer camps across Ireland. GAA, FAI, School activity, County council, Summer games and many more take a 4-6 week period to get kids active and out of the house as they set in to their school breaks. These camps mean, early mornings, excited kids, (emotional changes) varied physical activity, weather exposure, altered sleeping patterns and UNSUPERVISED TIME. In the past 4 week 60% of my Twitter feed or PM has been from parents on how they can best manage their children’s diabetes during these camps.
Hand on heart this is something I can provide very little information and insight into. I have not got kids let aloe diabetic kids. My initial response was probably blatantly obvious, but sometimes hearing it makes people pay more attention to it. 1) Your child is in a routine as their diabetes has been a huge part of their life so trust them to continue monitoring and treating it as normal, however a few annoying reminders can help. 2) Be sure to inform the camp director and all of the coaches and supervisors and be the person to physically hand over a glucose drink in case of emergency, this handing over of a drink will serve the purpose of directly reminding the coaches your child has T1D and an extra eye on the child watching for hypos. 3) Using technology to remember when to inject and monitor glucose levels can be key.
These are not the most reassuring facts people have been looking for from me regarding how to manage their Childs’ diabetes during summer camp season. So I invite any of my followers or readers to please get active in the comments section. Your insight and information from real life scenarios may be the piece of mind tool to other parents in similar situations. So comment, interact and share any useful tips you have.
If you ever have any questions, or wish to just keep up to date on the latest work, then follow me on Twitter @DeanMinnock
By Dean Minnock
PhD Candidate at UCD & Physiologist at InsulCheck