Travel Essentials for Travelling with a Child with Type 1 Diabetes – A Cornish Mum
Before my eldest son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, packing for holidays was simple. I’d work out how many items of clothing we’d all need for the holiday and then throw in duplicates just in case.
Obviously toiletries, a camera, towels for the beach and other essentials, such as tea bags, just in case wherever we were going had a shortage.
After his Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis, we’ve never let it stop us going on holiday. That’s the thing with Type 1 Diabetes it is a big part of your life when you live with it, but it is only a part and you can’t let it stop you from having fun.
However, packing for our holidays has changed greatly as along with all of the usual holiday packing there are things to be packed, that I see as essentials for travelling with a child with Type 1 Diabetes.
Here they are:
Letter from a medical professional – if you are flying and need to carry needles and other diabetes paraphernalia with you, then you need a letter from your support team or another medical professional stating that you need to carry these things for the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes.
Details of local hospitals – this is personal preference, but I always like to know where the nearest hospital is. I find this reassuring, we’ve yet to need one whilst away luckily.
Medical ID – If your child becomes separated from you, or if you are all in an accident and unable to speak to medical professionals, then you want people to be able to contact you and to know your child has Type 1 Diabetes.
Kiddsafe Fun ID are waterproof for on the beach, and your child can’t take them off themselves. They are bright partly so that children will think it is a treat to wear them, but also because it makes them easy to notice.
If you have an older child who wants a more grown up ID wristband, then the Eco ID will suit them much more. More discreet, but definitely still noticeable when they need to be.
Spares, spares, spares – writing this several times wasn’t a typo. When going away, it is always a good idea to have spares of everything possible just in case. There is no guaranteeing, especially if abroad that if you run out of blood testing strips or lancets, that there will be a supply anywhere of the exact ones you need.
I always take a spare blood testing meter, ketone urine test strips in case out ketone meter breaks or is lost, and more than double of what I think I need of anything especially hypo treatment, just in case of flight delays, or illness whilst away.
Frio pouch – if the weather is likely to be hot, then Frio pouches come in really handy for keeping insulin pens and spare insulin cool. Overheated insulin will lost effectiveness, which you really don’t want with all those holiday ice creams waiting to be enjoyed!
Apps – Instead of lugging a carbohydrate book around with you, if you aren’t great at estimating carbs yet, or you prefer to try and be accurate, then downloading the Carbs and Cals app on to a phone or tablet means you can carry all the information with you easily.
There are other carbohydrate counting apps, but just be wary of ones that involve going online, as you don’t want the shock of a huge data charge when you get home. If you aren’t sure, then pop your phone in to ‘airplane’ mode before using it if you can.
Small Sharps bin – You still need somewhere to put your waste sharps whilst away. Either a small sharps bin, an empty bottle with a screw shut lid or a needle clipper will work well.
Travel Insurance – Definitely an essential and do not forget to tell them someone on the policy has Type 1 Diabetes, as otherwise your insurance will be invalid. It’s a good idea to have your insurance details with you, along with an emergency telephone number for your insurer just in case.
Don’t let this long list scare you, this is about being prepared for anything and the more prepared you are, the more relaxed you will be when you go on your holiday.
Most importantly – Have Fun!