Summer Time Changes Every Day Routine
By Shawn Garrelts, M.Ed.
The summer is a fun and exciting time. Kids are on break from school and families are taking vacations together. I love this time of year, but it’s also the time of year that makes me a little nervous.
My 5 year old son, Caleb, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 3 years old. As a teacher, summer time means a change in our every day routine and this change can be dangerous for kids with diabetes. At my house, kids sleep later, eat meals later, have different activities and have a tendency to snack much of the day. All these changes can affect Caleb’s blood glucose levels.
During the summer, my husband and I become even more aware of Caleb’s diabetes. I find myself being extra diligent about keeping track of his more frequent snacks and accounting for it with insulin I also make sure he’s drinking enough water and staying hydrated, especially when he’s running around outside.
My husband and I are also more aware of potential lows after a full day of outdoor activities. I’ve noticed, especially with swimming, that Caleb doesn’t seem to wear out until he gets out of the pool and that’s when his blood glucose starts to drop. I make sure I have a snack ready for him as soon as he gets out of the pool to avoid any severe lows. We also keep tabs on his blood glucose later that day, in case it starts to drop as well.
We try to stick to a fairly well balanced diet but the hot months always seem to bring about more occasions for eating out and splurging. I am grateful for the different snacks that now contain sugar alternatives and give Caleb more options.
Traveling also seems to affect Caleb’s blood glucose levels – probably from all the excitement. We always let our doctor know when we plan to travel so she can help us anticipate any changes in Caleb’s diabetes management.
It seems that every season affects Caleb’s blood glucose in some way. We need to stay more aware of how the day’s activities affect blood glucose, but Caleb has so much fun during the summer and I just love this time of year.
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