Tips for babysitting diabetic children
Caring for children comes with its challenges, especially for babysitters.
Things can get even more complicated when those children have diabetes.
How can you keep them safe? What special considerations are needed? How much and what foods can kids with diabetes eat?
The following tips provide a general overview, but make sure to check with the parents of the children you're babysitting to best prepare yourself for potential emergencies.
1. Know how to check blood sugar and ketones.
When babysitting diabetic children, you should know exactly how to check blood glucose and ketone levels. You will probably have to learn how to prepare a meter or handle whatever device the child and parents normally uses to accomplish these tasks.
2. Understand target ranges.
You should be clear on what numbers would indicate high or low blood sugar in the child or children you're watching.
3. Know where supplies are kept.
In case of an emergency or critical situation, you should know exactly where the parents keep diabetes care supplies - or where to get extra supplies should you run out.
4. Learn how to give insulin.
It's important to have a firm understanding of how to administer insulin. Get some practice with this process if you can, making sure you're confident you can give the correct dose.
5. Know signs of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
Diabetic children may exhibit certain signs and symptoms if their blood sugar is too low or too high. Make sure you're familiar with these signs.
6. Get expert help.
The American Diabetes Association offers a manual called the Safe Diabetes Sitter's Guide, which includes more information that may be helpful. Download a copy and have it on hand when you're babysitting diabetic children.
Lastly, make sure you know which foods are safe for diabetic children and how to plan meals or snacks that won't cause dangerous swings in blood sugar.
Source: American Diabetes Association