Hurricane Sandy and a Spooktacular Halloween

Dr. Fran Cogen Health Pro
  • Hello to all in the Mid-Atlantic States as we clean up from Hurricane Sandy! Today’s blog is going to be a combined blog about Halloween strategies and planning for weather emergencies:


    Preparing for Halloween

    The key facts to remember are:

    1. If weather permits, please go and have fun!
    2. Remember that trick-or-treating is exercise and therefore please take that into consideration when administering insulin.
    3. Let your child enjoy some of the loot. Moderation is key, but cover the extra carbohydrates with short or rapid acting insulin. Check out previously described insulin strategies on past blogs.
      1. Traditional split mixed insulin regimes--2 or 3 shots/day; include goodies in dessert as part of meal carb counts vs. administering extra rapid acting or short acting insulin in the evening or afternoon to cover carbs. Discuss strategies with your diabetes team.
      2. Basal/bolus regimens (multiple daily injections/insulin pump therapy)—carefully bolus for the extra carbs. Be cognizant of physical activity that may compensate for extra insulin.
      3. All regimens--please check blood sugars frequently. You may need to provide correction boluses due to the high carb/fat content of candy, etc.
    4. Strategies following Halloween:
      1. After trick-or-treating (if your child is with a group of kids), considering dumping out all candy and pooling on the kitchen table. Then conquer and divide! Have the kids trade for the stuff they particularly enjoy and get rid of the more questionable loot.
      2. Dole out candy/goodies sparingly over the week for dessert or as a treat. Bolus accordingly or include as part of carbohydrate allowance at meals or snack for traditional split mixed insulin regimes.
      3. Consider donating some of the goodies to those kids less fortunate, such as those that can’t go outside to trick-or-treat or kids that are hospitalized. There will be a Halloween spooktacular at Children’s National Medical center in our atrium. Consider donating goodies (even prior to Halloween) to a children’s hospital.
      4. For those kids who are motivated by money or other material goodies, have them trade the candy for cash, or aps/books, etc.
      5. Be safe: dump loot that is “sketchy.”
      6. Most of all, treat your kid like everyone else (without diabetes) as much as possible.


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    Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

    We are all a bit anxious by yet another natural disaster. If you remember, the mid-Atlantic states were bombarded by the June 29th derecho with significant structural damage to homes and loss of electricity for many days! As a result of being “on service” during the derecho, I have learned quite a bit about what can go wrong.

    1. Please have all meds/insulin syringes, needles/blood glucose strips/meter/glucagon/ pump supplies on hand with extra available. You may not be able to even get to the pharmacy because of the weather despite having a prescription called in!
    2. The insulin in use does NOT have to be refrigerated, especially now that it is cooler outside. As long as the insulin is not subjected to extreme heat or cold, you should be okay.
    3. Have rapid acting carbs available if necessary.
    4. Be aware that insulin doses may need to be adjusted due to decreased activity (stuck in house) or anxiety!
    5. Have lots of batteries available for all your diabetes-related gadgets.
    6. If you have a generator, even better (or ask to share someone else’s electricity if necessary).
    7. Charge all cell phones and consider getting an attachment for your car if you can (I had to charge my cell phone in the car after the derecho due to lack of electricity and inability to get to the hospital).
    8. Keep all medical records/ insulin doses on hand so you don’t have to go digging for the information in the dark.
    9. Having a battery-powered radio is helpful.
    10. Keep emergency telephone numbers at hand and know how to reach your diabetes team!


  • Have fun and be safe!

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Published On: October 30, 2012