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From Staten Island, New York, USA:

My 11-year-old daughter has type 1 and is on an insulin pump. She has had diabetes for six years. She has a pretty good idea of how to care for her illness, although, on the other hand, she is a typical adolescent who sometimes has lapses in judgment. We allow her to go over friends' houses for an afternoon or evening. The subject of sleepovers has now come up. We have only met these people a couple of times, but my daughter's mother is a nurse. My wife thinks it's too early but I think she is ready. What is your opinion? Her diabetes is generally well controlled. Last month, her A1c was 7.3.


What a great age to be exploring new things, but what a scary time for parents! Developmentally, 11 is not too young in the best of worlds. With diabetes in the picture, you have several issues to consider as you make a decision about sleepovers at another family's home. How responsible is your daughter? Does she have enough knowledge and skill to use her pump? Does she know what to do to troubleshoot pump problems? Are there risky times of the day for her diabetes (mid-afternoon, 2 a.m.)? Does the hosting family have any concerns? How much "checking in" are you comfortable with?

One thing you might try is a sleepover at YOUR home first. You'll have a better sense of the impact an "all-nighter" might have on your daughter's diabetes.

This is one of the first steps in your daughter's emerging independence.


[Editor's comment: As the parent of a now young adult with diabetes, I would also recommend that when your daughter does sleep over at her friends' homes, she should call you or text you at 2 a.m. to let you know her blood sugar, when insulin was last bolused, last food eaten, activity level, etc. You might also want to tell the hosts what to do for certain blood sugar levels, that is, tell them if your daughter's blood sugar is over 350 mg/dl [19.4 mmol/L] or under 50 mg/dl 2.8 mmol/L], they should contact you for advice. Be sure to send extra snacks and low treatments (juice, glucose tablets, gel, etc.). Also, make sure she has sufficient insulin in her pump. BH]

Original posting 20 Feb 2010
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:20
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