Diabetes in Children: Special Camps
Camps for children who have diabetes give your child a chance to meet and share experiences with other children who have the disease. These camps help children take responsibility for their condition and gain independence in diabetes care. They also provide a fun outdoor experience. They may include swimming, hiking, or other sports.
These camps are run by trained medical and camp staff. They aim to keep children's blood sugar levels within a target range. The staff can balance insulin doses with the increased activity level and food intake.
Camps give parents a break from managing diabetes. You can rest assured that your child will get the right care at camp. You'll receive a daily record of your child's progress and participation.
If you're thinking about a camp for your child, make sure that it's accredited by the American Camping Association.
What to do before camp
A diabetes camp gives your child a chance to meet other children who have diabetes. Camp can be fun as well as educational.
To prepare, start by pulling together all of the records the camp may need about your child. Here are some other ideas for how to get ready.
- Review the camp policies.
Camp policies include management of your child's diabetes and other medical conditions, emergency care, planned activities and outings, and educational offerings. Opening and closing rules of the camp will also be included, such as drop-off and pick-up times.
- Complete the required medical form.
Complete the form before your child goes to camp. Your child's doctor may need to provide some information. The camp may need:
- Information about your child's past medical history and immunization record.
- The amount, schedule of doses, and kinds of insulin your child takes. Provide information about your child's insulin pump, if he or she uses one.
- Records of your child's blood sugar levels and insulin dosages for the previous week.
- Provide information about hospital stays and other conditions.
For example, the camp medical staff needs to know if your child has any behavioral or emotional problems or has had hospital stays for diabetic ketoacidosis.
- Provide a written consent for research if needed.
Find out if any research is being done at the camp. Make sure that you understand what will be done. Give written permission if you want your child to take part in the study.
- Provide contact information.
Provide phone numbers, in case your child or the camp staff needs to call you.