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Diabetes On Vacation!

Summer often means vacation, and everything that comes along with it: warm weather, water, different schedules. We know that making sure your child is healthy and having a good time on vacation is your top priority, so here are some tips to help you out:

  • Pre-bolus when you can. You’re most likely going to have unfamiliar foods, and adding a pre-bolus can help, especially if you’re guessing on the carb count. However, with the being said:

  • Account for exercise! Walking, biking, swimming, or playing with friends or family, there are so many opportunities for exercise while on vacation and this can quickly cause low blood sugar. Keep this in mind when bolusing for meals and giving corrections, and make sure to watch blood sugars carefully!

  • Temporary basals are your best friend. Because of the many variables that vacation presents (weather, activity, food, excitement, stress, etc.), utilize temp basals when you can to increase or decrease basal rates. If driving, another thing you can do is set an increased temp basal while in the car because of the reduced activity.

  • Snacks (but not too many). Make sure to bring lots of supplies to treat lows! It’s better to have too much than not enough. On the other side of things, also be aware of any extra snacks that your child may be having. It can be different than what they’re used to at home and will affect blood sugars differently.

  • Don’t beat yourself up. Diabetes can be hard on any normal day, let alone when your child is out of their regular schedule! If blood sugars are bad, don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens to everyone, and feeling bad won’t do anything except ruin your day. Do your best to get your child’s blood sugar back in range and move on!

  • Bring extra tape for diabetes devices! Water, sweat, sunscreen, sand, and so much more can cause CGM and pump sites to fall out when on vacation, and it’s no fun changing sites early! Make sure to bring extra tape, and even put it on as a precaution just in case.

  • Bring a waterproof bag for your phone and pump (or use a ziploc). At the beach or pool, I like to keep my phone in a sealed bag to keep water and sand out of it while still making sure I have my CGM close. You can order a waterproof bag pretty cheap on Amazon, or use a ziploc bag to make sure diabetes devices stay safe!

  • Bring extra supplies (more than you think you’ll need). Personally, I like to bring almost double the diabetes supplies I will need when I’m on vacation. You never know when you will need to do a site change, or check your child’s blood sugar if their CGM stops working, or do a manual injection if a pump breaks. It’s always better to be extra prepared, especially when far from home, and you can always just bring unused supplies back with you!

  • Be careful when applying sunscreen. Did you know that sunscreen can cause the plastic on your dexcom cgm site to break? I didn’t until it happened to me a few weeks ago! Be careful when applying sunscreen around sites, and try to avoid applying directly on top of the site.

  • Stay hydrated. Always a good idea, but staying hydrated is especially important on vacation when more variable blood sugars are likely, and especially if it’s hot out!

  • Weather. Figure out how your child’s blood sugar reacts to the weather where you’re going to be, and act accordingly! Hot and cold temperatures can affect everyone’s blood sugar differently, and it’s important to keep this in mind.

What are your favorite tips for dealing with diabetes while on vacation? Let us know in the comments!

Blog by Amelia Rehrman

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