Type 1 Diabetes in Children: Safe Exercise - Topic Overview
Children who take insulin are at risk of
hypoglycemia during and after exercise. But with good
planning and awareness, a child can exercise and participate in sports
Good planning means checking blood sugars before, during,
and after exercise. Then, you can keep a record of how exercise affects your
child's blood sugars. Remember that each child will react to exercise
differently. But using your records, you can usually predict how your child
will react to activity.
Use the following tips for exercising
Do not let your child exercise if blood sugar is over 250 mg/dL or
ketones are present.
Make sure your child's blood sugar is in the target range before
exercise-to avoid low blood sugar.
Make sure your child wears identification.
Make sure your child drinks water so he or she does not get
Talk with your child's doctor about lowering the insulin dose that
your child takes before exercise.
Inject the insulin before exercise in a site other than the parts
of the body your child will be using during exercise. For example, if your
child will be running, do not inject insulin in the leg.
Your child may eat 15 to 30 grams of quick-sugar food (hard candy,
fruit juice, honey) 15 to 30 minutes before exercise.
If your child plays in organized sports, give the coach a list of
the symptoms of low blood sugar and instructions about what to do if it occurs.
Have some quick-sugar food (hard candy, fruit juice, honey) on hand
at all times. You can also make sure your child's coach carries quick-sugar
Watch for symptoms of low blood sugar up to 24 to 36 hours after
Your child may use a diluted (watered down) form of sports drink
during activity to get fluids and sugars.
Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!
Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 and 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.
Thank you for signing up for the WebMD Diabetes Newsletter!
You'll find tips and tricks as well as the latest news and research on Diabetes.
Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.