Tips for Type 1 Student-Athletes

When participating in athletic activities, have a plan in place to assure your child has the necessary items to help keep blood glucose in optimal control. As a parent of a high school athlete, you often will not be present at practices or even some far away games. These tips can help when putting together a plan.

• Talk with your child’s diabetes care team ahead of time to determine any insulin dose changes needed for sports activities.

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• Talk with your child’s coach and/or trainer before the season begins to ensure they know about his/her diabetes and all requirements for breaks, water, food, and blood glucose monitoring.

• Be sure your child’s coach, trainer, teammates, and/or a designated adult know the signs, symptoms and treatment for hypoglycemia.

• Make sure your child checks his/her blood glucose before exercise and that his/her meter and supplies are packed.

• Make sure your child will agree to delay activity if his/her blood glucose level is higher than 240 mg/dl and moderate to large ketones are present in his/her urine. A coach/athletic trainer also should be aware of this.

• Pack a source of glucose (tablets or gel) with your child’s supplies in case of hypoglycemia.

• If hypoglycemia occurs, treat with 15 to 20 grams of glucose (preferred source); recheck glucose in 15 minutes and repeat treatment if needed.

• Have snacks available to prevent hypoglycemia such as:
o fruit;
o juice boxes;
o peanut butter and crackers; and
o granola bars.

• Be sure your child drinks water, water and more water to stay hydrated.

• Make sure your child knows to take a break after one hour to check blood glucose. It might be helpful to designate a teammate or trainer to remind him/her.

• Check blood glucose more often after exercising because the effects of exercise on blood glucose can last 24 to 48 hours.

• Your child should wear a medical ID bracelet.