Spring is just around the corner, and your child is anxious to get back on the sports team. Sports and exercise are great for all children, but since exercise increases sensitivity to insulin, diabetic children run the risk of hypoglycemia.
If your child is on insulin, speak to your pediatrician about whether or not the dosage of insulin should change with increased activity. Your pediatrician can recommend effective snacking times as well.
The American Diabetes Association makes the following suggestions to help reduce the risk of hypoglycemia:
- Check your child’s blood glucose before exercise. If it’s low, have your child eat a snack and wait until the blood glucose comes up.
- Pack a bag of supplies for your child and keep it close by. Include snacks in case of hypoglycemia as well as snacks to prevent hypoglycemia including: Glucose tablets, hard candy, juice boxes, crackers with peanut butter, crackers and cheese, granola bars or other healthy snacks. Provide a bottle of water and have a blood glucose meter and related supplies on hand.
- Monitor your child’s blood glucose and provide a snack like the ones above if he/she exercises for longer than an hour.
- Check your child’s blood glucose often after exercising. The effects of exercise on blood glucose can last for up to 24 hours.
- Tell your child’s coach the signs to look for in case blood glucose drops. Also, tell the coach what should be done in an emergency.
- Always have your child wear a medical ID bracelet.
The Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology Department at Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the only pediatric diabetes management program in the area and the only hospital in the area to offer the services of board-certified pediatric endocrinologists. We help about 350 children each year manage diabetes and live full and active lives.
Families and children of CHOG benefit from a certified diabetes educator who works one-on-one with children and parents and is easily accessible for telephone and email support.
For more information about the Pediatric and Endocrinology Department at CHOG, check out the website at augustahealth.org/chog or call 706-721-KIDS (5437).