Managing diabetes: Your child's first sleepover

Managing diabetes: Your child's first sleepover

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A child's first sleep over is usually packed with fun.

Emily Wichman's was a little more trying.

"I was really thirsty and I had to get up and go to the bathroom and like every five or 10 minutes," said Emily.

Her parents took her to the doctor and found out why.

"Well my pancreas doesn't work," added Emily.

At age four Emily found out she has type 1 diabetes.

"Diabetes is a pretty common problem that one in 400 children and adolescents have diabetes," said Dr. Jennifer Squires, MD a pediatrician with Walker Pediatrics.

"So it's something that a lot of parents are having to think about."

And although parents of children with a chronic health condition have a little more to think about when their children spends a couple nights away from home.

Dr. Squires says it shouldn't keep your kids from having fun.

"The biggest thing is making sure that they are mature enough to be able to manage it themselves."

Before you even consider the first sleep-over there are basic steps experts say a child with diabetes must handle on their own.

"They need to know how to test their own blood sugars, and they need to know how to give the insulin that they need for that blood sugar," said Dr. Squires.

Here is something else to think about, there's a very good chance that your child will be staying up later than usual.

"Staying up late can also affect the blood sugars," said Dr. Squires.

So doctors say it's a good idea to pack a midnight snack.

With planning the overnights will no longer will seem challenging.

"I pretty much do everything that I'm supposed to when I go over people's houses now," said Emily.

Also make sure that the parent who is hosting the sleep over is aware of your child's type 1 diabetes and what your child needs to do to manage it.

Another good option is for parents of children with diabetes to host their first sleep over, that they can keep a close eye on how the kid manages their condition.

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