Getting ready for your child with Type 1 diabetes to attend a sleepover? The following steps can ensure everyone is prepared for a fun, safe experience.
1. If your child is on a pump, consider making a cellphone video of checking your child’s sugar levels and delivering a correction on the pump. Send it to the host parents for reference.
2. Schedule a mini-training session about Type 1 diabetes with the host parents. Keep it simple, but don’t underplay the seriousness of the situation. Type out all the details of your child’s specific diabetes plan on a 5 by 7 inch index card and laminate it for the parents. They can familiarize themselves with the information ahead of time and have it on hand in case any issues arise.
3. Plan or prepare sleepover meals, including the timing of the meals, the number of carbs, and the amount of insulin needed.
4. Schedule a night check-in with the host parents. If your child has a monitor, you can check it during the night and call the host parents if needed.
5. Write out an emergency plan for the host parents. Assure them you’ll be around if they need you.
6. Talk through the meal plan and emergency plan with your child so he or she knows what to expect. Ask what he or she will do if the initial signs of low blood sugar start to set in. Ask who he or she will go to for help. Asking these questions and hearing them answered correctly is better than giving a reminder.
7. Assure your child that all this planning is about ensuring a fun night. But also be honest with your child that the sleepover may not work out even with all the planning. Have a Plan B if your child has to leave the sleepover, such as holding a movie night at home or doing one of his or her favorite activities with a friend or sibling. Let the child know you can try again in the near future.