I was wondering about how other parents handled 2 issues that we are dealing with. My son is 9 and in the 3rd grade. Do you go on field-trips? If not, who is responsible for your child's care and safety? Also, do you allow your child to stay over friend's houses? If so, do you train the other parents on how to care for your child?
This has been an interesting issue for us. My son goes to a private school, so there is no school nurse. I go along on all out-of-town and overnight field trips. I find that his sugars are more volatile with the excitement of travel and different activities. I just don't feel like he has the critical thinking skills to make insulin dosage decisions by himself yet. One thing that has really worked for us is that he has a cell phone. So, during the day and on local field trips he calls me and we decide together how much insulin to take. I include my son in the thinking process (what is the PE schedule for the afternoon etc...). He has gone on overnights with one friend. They live close by and he calls right before they go to bed to check in with his blood sugar. He then calls first thing in the morning with his sugar reading. We do teach all parents and children that he associates with the signs of low blood sugar and what to do. His friends are always interested in being helpful and part of the diabetes team. I have the tendency to be very circumspect and have been trying to think of ways to give him more responsibility. But, he also tells me that he feels safer when I come along on the trips. Some people feel that pushing the independence early is very important and I feel like it is a huge responsibility for a 10 year old and that he will grow up soon enough. Where is that happy balance?
I also encourage my son to be independent with his diabetes care and I too have found that him having a cell phone has been a huge help. I guess my biggest concern is if he passes out from low bs. He has never done this and he almost always knows when he is going low. But, if this were to happen, how do we ensure that someone is with him who can use glucagon?
That is my biggest concern too. Also, would the parents of the overnight host even realize that something is happening? When my son has done the overnights, he calls right before bedtime....usually quite late. He reports his BG and we decide if he should eat something or not. The parents of the overnight know, that once it is bedtime, there can be no more sneaking around, playing hide-n-seek in the dark etc.... So, my son only went to overnight with this one family because I trusted the parents to make sure that the kids fell asleep. Unfortunately, they moved out of the area. But, that is how I handled the overnight sugars. If he was a bit high going to bed (180 -200) then I felt secure that he wouldn't go low at night even though he had the excitement and extra activity of a late evening. Sometimes I don't think that I am giving him enough independence but we also talk and he prefers to have my help and support at this point. He is coming into the age of weird BGs and it seems that we have to work really hard to keep a decent A1C.
My daughter is only in pre-school right now, but will be in kindergarten in the fall. I was very concerned about field trips. What if I could not go with her? I went to a seminar put on by JDRF with a rep. from the Dept. of Education of Colorado. The public schools must provide a trained chaparone for your child during required field trips. It must be someone who has been trained to care for someone with Type 1 Diabetes. If they cannot provide someone, then they must provide an alternative experience for your child. Example: watching a movie pertaining to the info learned on the field trip. Private schools are not required to provide any special care for your child. I would call the Dept. of Education in your state.
My son is 8 years old and in 2nd grade. Our district requires either a parent or school nurse to go on field trips (which is good for me because I like to go on his field trips!) This might be a topic to bring up to administration at your son's school. Also, I train my son's friend's parents to test and care for him. I have wonderful friendships with them, and they even get up in the middle of the night to test him.
I have always gone on all of my son's field trips. But, last week I actually had a teacher and our principle tell me I could not go on one with my son next week! I couldn't believe it. They did not have a trained person scheduled to go with him and I let them know that was unacceptable. It turned into quite an issue for us and I had to contact several different people, but we "won" and they are letting me go now. I learned the hard way that a 504 plan is essential for our children in public school.
Andrea-what state are you in?
My daughter is in kindergarten. In our county, parents aren't allowed to ride the bus with their child, and the child can't ride with the parents on field trips. I was pretty upset at first about this since a lot could happen on the bus ride. The principle told me that if they needed me they would call me. Can you imagine the bus pulling over on the interstate so that I can give insulin? Anyway, the parapro is now trained to take care of her, and I drive my car to wherever they are going so that I can take care of her diabetic needs while she's there. Our 504 states also that they must have a trained person to go along. They always ask me if one of us is going, so they could arrange for the nurse to go if we couldn't. I wouldn't ask the nurse because there is another diabetic child in her school who needs her too.
My son is 14 and in public school. I have learned that if a school nurse cannot go on a trip with your child and you can't go, the state has to provide a nurse at their expense. We are in NY.
My son is on an 8th grade trip right now to Washington, D.C. Fortunately the school nurse is on the trip as well because I couldn't get the time off.
Either way my nerves are frazzled. It's a constant worry wondering if he'll go too low while sleeping.
I'm glad the field trip worked out for you and you were able to go along with your son. Sometimes you just have to put up that fight.
I always tried to go on the field trips at that age but by law, the school MUST provide either a nurse or the teacher must be trained to handle a diabetic situation. Make sure you have a good repore with the nurse and your childs teachers. Normally, they are more than willing to work with you and your child. However, diabetic children fall under the Disabilities Act and if you should run into any real issues with your school, mention this Act and they usually comply. I've only had to mention this once in the past 6 years and was reluctant to do so (as I really don't consider diabetes a disability), but due to the situation I needed to get my point DRIVEN home before I lost my cool with the school. My point in mentioning the Disabilities Act is only to ensure your child has the medical personnel available if required or someone trained by the school nurse. Your child has rights and it is up to you to ensure that the school is aware as well.
For sleep overs, I've always had my daughter call with numbers and the supervising adult had been given minimal instructions.
She is pretty responsible for an eleven year old as we try to empower her to be self sufficient(as much as she can at this age). We also have given her a purse with the basic items for her well-being (BG tester, strips+extras, glucose gel, glucogon,medic alert card+ bracelet, ketostiks, snack bar). It all fits nicely into her smallish purse and is stylish enough that she carries it willingly.
Hope some of this info helps.
This is something that I have thought about a lot also. My daughter was diagnosed not quite two weeks ago and until then has stayed at friends houses frequently. Right now I am a nervous wreck about checking her sugars and how she reacts to different things and especially at night. She went low once at the hospital and once at home and neither time did she even notice anything. I don't know when I will feel comfortable enough to have her spend the night, I think we will be having friends come over here. I feel very overprotective right now and hope that eventually this becomes easier and I am not on pins and needles all the time.
Also what kind of snacks do you give your children before bedtime?
For bedtime snacks- it depends on what her bedtime BG reading is and if she's below target, what her insulin on board (IOB) is, etc.
for lows here are some things we give her: a glucerna drink, oj, milk, or yogurt to "stop the drop" as we call it. We then have her have a slower acting carb that will last, such as an oatmeal bar, 1/2 bagel, granola bar - you get the idea.
I too was overly protective when Sarah was first diagnosed. It's a natural reaction and don't concern yourself with it. Until both of you are ready for an overnight (cause I guarantee your daughter is afraid also) and have dealt with diabetes for awhile, take your time. I think it was 2 or 3 years before I allowed Sarah an overnight with any kind of confidence.