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What diabetes care tips should I teach my child's babysitter?

Before leaving your child in someone's care, it's important that the sitter knows that every person with diabetes is different—and so is their diabetes care plan. Be prepared to train every babysitter to know:

  • How and when to check blood glucose (BG) and ketones: Demonstrate how to use your child's meter, and then ask your babysitter to practice preparing the meter and checking your child's BG.
  • Your child's target BG range: Provide detailed instructions on what to do if the BG is high or low.
  • How to administer insulin: Demonstrate the process and let your babysitter practice, if possible. Write down your child's insulin regimen clearly so the correct dose is given.
  • Your child's signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and what to do if these occur.
  • What to do in an emergency situation: Describe when and how to administer glucagon. Show your babysitter where all of your emergency supplies are kept. Make sure your babysitter knows how to reach you with a question or in an emergency.

Provide foods you know your child with diabetes will like. Involve your child in planning the meals and snacks to ensure he will be willing to eat what you prepare. Give a schedule and menu to the babysitter for each meal and snack, and indicate how much insulin your child will need to cover each food.

If your child refuses to eat or wants something else, review substitute foods or ask the babysitter to call you with questions. Be sure to talk with your child about the importance of eating the meal or snack.

Finding a babysitter can be a big challenge for parents of kids with diabetes. One great way to find an experienced babysitter is to meet other families like yours. Through the American Diabetes Association's Family Link, Diabetes Camp or other events, you can meet other families of kids with diabetes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.