Children, Type 1 Diabetes, and Slumber Parties

Mary Kate Cary Health Guide
  • Last night our daughter, who has type 1 diabetes, went on a sleepover at a friend’s house and as usual, it was a balance between wanting to let her have a normal life on the one hand, and on the other, not wanting to impose on her friends’ parents.

    For a long time, we’ve had a rule that most sleepovers take place at our house, so we don’t have anything to worry about. For example, we have to give our daughter her Lantus shot between 8-10 pm, and we have to check her blood one last time for the night three hours after the last shot of the day to make sure she’s in normal range before she goes to sleep. If she’s high, we correct; if she’s low we give her sugar and check again in fifteen minutes.
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    The problem with sleepovers, however, is that most other families don’t stop with all eating at dinnertime. Slumber parties are even worse, often with bowls of food out all night. There’s popcorn with a movie, or cookies and milk at bedtime. This means that the last shot of the day can be as late as 8 or 9 o’clock, which pushes the overnight check to 11 or 12 o’clock. Most of our friends don’t stay up that late, so that means setting an alarm to check our daughter. Even though our daughter’s friends parents are all totally helpful and willing to do that, I feel like that’s imposing.

    For a while, I’d ask them if they could eat dinner early, with no more snacks and then Annie could check herself at bedtime. Then the only thing I’d ask was that they’d remind her to give herself her Lantus shot when she brushed her teeth and put on her pajamas. But then one family forgot to remind her, and she came home the next morning very high. I asked about the Lantus, and she said she forgot, and we had to correct all day. The mom had forgotten, too. I was mad, but didn’t say anything.

    So last night Annie ate dinner on the early side, checked her own blood at bedtime, was in normal range and didn’t need a shot. Luckily, she was normal again at breakfast so everything went well. As she gets older it seems to be getting better.

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Published On: April 06, 2006