As parents to young children, we have our babysitter instructions on our fridge… Emergency contact info, preferred hospital, food allergy information, location of medications. But parents of diabetic children often feel like they could cover the entire fridge with instructions or worst yet, never leave the house. If you don’t have a nurse friend or a T1D mom friend who’s willing to help, you may not feel comfortable leaving your diabetic child. But, if you can find the right person, what information do you need to leave? We recommend putting together a caregiver/babysitter plan that not only covers the basics like when and what to eat, how much insulin to give, and when to check blood sugar, but also create an “IF/THEN” scenario chart with the 5-6 most common situations that could arise.
If “he says he feels funny,” then check his blood sugar. If it is in this range x-y, then do …., if it is in this range a-c, then do…. We know it is hard to think of all the scenarios, but you know how your child tends to act/look when he or she is high or low. Describe that in writing on your chart, and lay out the steps to take if the sitter sees any of those indicators. Also, include specific instructions about where medication is located, and how to deliver it. And, of course, practice. Have the babysitter come in advance and practice giving a shot, checking blood sugar, and giving insulin via the pump. Also, have the sitter assemble a glucagon injection and demonstrate it with a tester kit.
The American Diabetes Association offers some great tips here.