Diabetes in Children: Special Camps - Topic Overview
Camps for children who have
diabetes provide an opportunity for the child to meet
and share experiences with other children who have the disease. These camps
support the child in assuming responsibility for his or her disease and gaining
independence in diabetes care. It's also a fun outdoor experience that may
include swimming, hiking, or other sports.
Camps provide a
respite for parents, a time when they can take a break from managing the
disease. Parents can rest assured that their child will get appropriate care
during this time at camp.
Managing stress is key for people with diabetes. When you're stressed, you may skip meals or forget to take your medicines, which will affect your blood sugar level.
Everyone has some stress; it's a fact of life. What matters is how you handle it. These six tips will help.
These camps are run by trained medical
and camp staff. They aim to keep children's blood sugar levels within a target
range by balancing insulin doses with the increased activity level and food
What you do
To help your child have a good
experience at camp:
sure the camp is accredited by the American Camping
Review the camp policies. Camp policies include
management of your child's diabetes care, management of other medical
conditions, emergency care, planned activities and outings, and educational
offerings. Opening and closing rules of the camp will also be included in the
policies, such as drop-off and pick-up times.
Complete a medical
form before your child attends the camp. This form includes information about
your child's past medical history and immunization record. It also requires
information about the amount, schedule of doses, and kinds of insulin your
child takes. It may require records of your child's blood sugar levels and
insulin dosages for the previous week. Your child's doctor may need to provide
Provide information about past hospitalizations
and illnesses. The camp medical staff needs to know whether your child has any
behavioral or emotional problems or has had hospital stays for
about your child's
insulin pump, if he or she uses one.
Provide a written consent if any research is being
conducted at the camp. Make sure you understand what will be done, and give
your written permission for your child to take part in the
Provide phone numbers, in case your child or the camp staff
needs to call you.
What you can expect
You can expect that:
Your child will have three meals and two or three
snacks each day.
procedures will be done if an emergency occurs, and you will be
You will be contacted if needed for behavioral,
emotional, or other problems that occur during camp.
receive a daily record of your child's progress, which may include your child's
blood sugar levels, insulin doses, activities, and level of participation. It
may also include your child's food intake during the camp
You will receive a report of your child's participation
in the educational program and his or her progress in learning diabetes care
skills, such as giving an injection or monitoring blood sugar levels.
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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