Heading to college and living on your own for the first time can be a very exciting experience. It is of utmost importance though that your child knows how to continue caring for their health as if you were there. The next best thing is sitting down with them and creating a diabetes care plan based on your current habits. Let’s learn how to prepare college students with diabetes.
This should be easy to follow, easy to understand by others as well and help plan for emergencies. The rigorous rhythms of college might cause a diabetic student without assistance to worry, but planning like this in advance can make all the difference in their everyday life. Here are some things you should discuss with them and add to your child’s diabetes management plan.
Look for a new doctor right away
The very first thing you should be doing if your child is moving far away from home is finding a new doctor. This person will be responsible for looking after them when they can’t visit their normal doctor at home. You can ask your current doctor for recommendations or search online and see which doctors have the best reviews.
Have all their necessary medical supplies ready
Preparing an emergency kit is always necessary and especially for diabetic students. Some of the things your emergency kit should always include are the following:
- A blood glucose meter and monitoring strips as well as ketone strips
- Alcohol wipes for sanitation
- Insulin syringes and their medication or a pump, depending on the way they take insulin
- Glucose tablets
- Their medical identification
Put together a list of emergency contacts
Another thing you should include in your emergency kit is a list of all the emergency contacts your child has. These can include their doctor’s number, a local pharmacy, and college health services.
This can make it easier for your child to address emergencies even if they study in a different city and run into diabetes-related issues. Students can also use term paper writing help when other problems or obligations arise and there’s not enough time for college assignments. Talk to your child about the emergency contacts list so that they’re aware of which number to call at what point in time.
Consult a diabetes dietitian for help with meal suggestions
One of the things many college students struggle with is eating on a schedule and eating healthy meals. This can be especially challenging during the first few months of college life and exam season. While your child might know what to eat by now, it might still be a good idea to consult a dietitian for help.
They can help you put together a meal plan based on the frequency and easy meal options. Colleges don’t always have diabetic-friendly food available so cooking or eating takeaway might be necessary. A dietitian will be there to help your child whenever they need help with deciding on a meal.
Discuss what they should do when they drink alcohol
Another very important topic for you to prepare college students with diabetes, and discuss in advance is alcohol consumption. Every student wants to drink and you should expect that your child will too. This is part of the college experience for many and instead of scaring them out of it, you should help them prepare in advance.
Explain to them that intoxication often feels like hypoglycemia and that telling them apart can be hard. They should always have food before they drink anything to avoid sudden drops in blood sugar. To learn more about sugar contents in alcoholic drinks and how to be safe, discuss this topic with your dietitian.
Register with the college’s disability services or CDN
Last but not least, your child can feel safer at college by registering with the college disability services. This can help the college know they might need certain types of assistance and allow them to have a smoother experience.
In addition, they can become a member of or even put together a CDN, or College Diabetes Network. This is essentially a campus club that can bring more diabetic students together and offer them support and resources during their college experience.
Finding ways to overcome every difficulty and have the best college experience
Diabetic students can experience college just like everyone else. Just because your child has to have a certain everyday routine, that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to go about their day just like any other student.
Planning is important mainly for emergencies and during their first months of college life where everything is new. After they get used to their daily routine and know where to seek help, they will be able to tackle any difficulty.