Preparing Your Student-Athlete

Tryouts for most fall sports are in full swing, even if the weather doesn’t feel “fall like” just yet. Being active is an important part of being healthy and a great way for children to stay active is to play organized and competitive sports. The benefits of playing a sport at a young age spans far beyond the physical activity aspect. It provides children with a sense of community, shows them how to work as a team player, and boost their self-esteem.

If you have a child athlete with Type 1 you may need to adjust their diabetes management for optimal performance and blood sugar control during the sport season. Exercising causes the muscles to contract which allows them to become more sensitive to insulin. This increase uptake of insulin could cause hypoglycemia. It is always a good idea to carry plenty of low treatments to all practices and games. Your child may need a 10-15 grams snack prior to participating. If the activity starts within two hours of a bolus their snack may need to be closer to 30-60 grams of carbs. Insulin doses such as basal and bolus may need to be adjust as well. Talk to your child’s endocrinologist to discuss the proper adjustments and
individual needs.

In addition to preparing your child it is also important to prepare their team and coaches. Contact coaches ahead of time and request a meeting to go over diabetes 101. Make sure that coaches know the
signs of hypoglycemia and that there is always someone present that can administer glucagon in case of an emergency. Discuss how your child should be allowed permission to check blood glucose, eat, drink
water and use the restroom whenever necessary. Coaches should be made aware of where your child’s diabetes supplies are in case your child needs assistance. The American Diabetes Association has training tools for schools that could be used to coaches as well!

Contributed by:
Carrie Claiborne 
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