There are lots of things you need to know about diabetes. This is a list of some of the most common questions that kids ask us. But, don’t worry if you can’t find the answers you need here, just email us your question and we will send you back an answer.
Q: How do I tell my friends at school I have diabetes?
However soon they will get used to this and not even notice or pay attention. Answering questions honestly is the easiest way to handle your friend’s curiosity and may even reduce anxiety.
Q: Can I go to birthday parties?
If you are not sure about some of the foods talk to your diabetes team about some other options. You could also get mum or dad to take some food for you.
Q: Can I go to my friend’s house for a sleepover?
It’s a good idea to practice looking after your own diabetes when you are home with mum or dad, such as blood glucose testing and injecting your own insulin or bolus in your pump. You can also get mum or dad to contact the other parents so they can talk about what you will need at the sleepover, such as food choices, snack times and hypo treatment.
It may take some ‘day play dates’ first before you feel comfortable to sleepover.
Q: What are some good tips for managing food at school?
- Label food with stickers to show the amount of carbohydrate in each item of food
- Get a list of foods at the canteen and check the carbohydrate in different choices
- Remember on sport days you may need extra food or adjust your insulin - talk to your diabetes team
- Have extra snacks ready in case of unplanned exercise or activity
- Plan ahead for camps and excursions making sure there will be regular meals and snacks containing carbohydrate for you
Q: How often should I be changing the lancet in my finger pricker?
Callous and black dots can be caused by blunt needles and not rotating your fingers enough when testing. Some important tips to prevent damage include:
- Wwash your hands before testing
- Change your lancet more frequently, if not every time you test try and change it at least once a day
- Use the sides of your fingers
- Use all of your fingers, not just favouring one finger
- Check how deep the needle is set to go into your finger, if it is too deep then this ca cause black dots (bleeding under the skin)
Q: Why is it important to look after my feet?
Healthy feet are very important when you have diabetes. Your doctor or diabetes clinic will tell you when to have your feet checked but a good guide is; when you turn 9yrs old and have had diabetes for 5yrs or, if you are 11yrs old or over and have had diabetes for 2yrs.
Things you can do at home to look after your feet:
- Wash and dry your feet every day
- Tell mum or dad or the person that looks after you if your shoes are too small, have any holes or giving you a blister
- Don’t cut your nails too short and never cut down them down the sides
- Make sure when you get a new pair of shoes the person fitting your shoes should always measure your foot to get the right size
- Try to always wear shoes and if you do go bare feet make sure you check your feet for any cuts or scrapes afterwards
Q: When should I test my blood glucose levels during sport?
- Before sport/exercise
- During sport/exercise (half time)
- After sport/exercise
Q: How much exercise should I do?
Q: Why can my blood glucose levels go high after playing sport?
This can be caused by being nervous or excited or doing hard exercise like sprinting.
Your blood glucose levels will come down after you finish playing sport but it may take a while so you should test regularly after you exercise (check every 2hrs to make sure your BGL is coming down).
Q: When shouldn’t I play sport?
If you do exercise when you are sick, your blood glucose levels will probably go high. If your blood glucose levels are higher than 15mmol/L or you have ketones you shouldn’t play sport or exercise.
Q: What do I do with my insulin pump when I go swimming?
It is best to place your pump in a cooler bag when it has been disconnected so the insulin doesn’t sit out in the hot sun.
You can disconnect your pump for 60 minutes whilst you are swimming however regular testing is recommended.
Try and keep your blood glucose levels above 7mmol/L and no higher than 10mmol/L before commencing any exercise like swimming.
Q: I am going on a school camp, what should I pack for my diabetes?
It is important to be prepared and here is a list that might help you:
- Insulin pen or syringe
- Pump supplies (if on a pump)
- Travel bag (to keep insulin cold)
- Blood glucose meter
- Test strips
- Finger pricker and lancets
- Hand wipes
- Ketone test strips
- Small sharps container
- Hypo food
- Extra snacks
- Glucagon (if necessary)
- Blood glucose diary
- Diabetes identification (worn by you)
- Write down important things you do at home for you diabetes
- Mobile phone (if you have one)