Tips for exercising safely for your child with type 1 diabetes
Children who take insulin are at risk of
hypoglycemia during and after exercise. But with good
planning and awareness, a child can exercise and participate in sports
Good planning means checking blood sugars before, during,
and after exercise. Then, you can keep a record of how exercise affects your
child's blood sugars. Remember that each child will react to exercise
differently. But, using your records, you usually can predict how your child
will react to activity.
Use the following tips for exercising
Do not let your child exercise if blood sugar is over 250 mg/dL or
ketones are present.
Make sure your child's blood sugar is above 100 mg/dL before
exercise to avoid low blood sugar.
Make sure your child wears identification.
Make sure your child drinks water so he or she does not get
Talk with your child's doctor about lowering the insulin dose that
your child takes before exercising.
Inject the insulin before exercise in a site other than the parts
of the body your child will be using during exercise. For example, if your
child will be running, do not inject insulin in the leg.
Your child may eat 15 to 30 grams of quick-sugar food (hard candy,
fruit juice, honey) 15 to 30 minutes before exercise.
If your child plays in organized sports, give the coach a list of
the symptoms of low blood sugar and instructions about what to do if it occurs.
Have some quick-sugar food (hard candy, fruit juice, honey) on hand
at all times. You can also make sure your child's coach carries quick-sugar
Watch for symptoms of low blood sugar up to 24 to 36 hours after
exercise. This is important especially for children younger than 6 years of age
or those who have an A1c less than 8.
Your child may use a diluted (watered down) form of sports drink
during activity to get fluids and sugars.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.