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During Travel

There are a few of guidelines you may want to keeping in mind while in the process of travelling to yourDuring travel with type 1 diabetes destination:

  • CHECK BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS MORE OFTEN. Do not assume that blood glucose patterns during travel will follow the same trends as they do at home. Heat, excitement, change in time zones, and change in activity levels (sitting for longer periods in a car or plane, walking long distances through airports) can all significantly affect blood glucose levels. The more often you check, the more easily you’ll be able to anticipate and avoid problems.
  • Carry a low blood glucose treatment with you at all times (candy, glucose tablets, juice, regular pop, for example). Carry snacks (such as granola bars, crackers and cookies) with you at all times to avoid low blood glucose. This is particularly important for air travel, as flights may be delayed or you may miss a meal when rushing for a flight. You don’t want to be stuck on a plane with no access to necessary snacks.
  • Time zone changes:
    • When travelling east, your travel day is shorter; when travelling west, your travel day is longer.
    • Be sure to take this into account in terms of insulin delivery. You may need to adjust the time or amount of your insulin dose. Consult your child’s diabetes health care team for advice on insulin adjustment, especially if traveling across more than three times zones.
    • It is recommended to leave your watch (and pump, if applicable) on “home” time until you arrive at your destination, so that meal and snack times are not disrupted. Consult your child’s diabetes health care team if you are unsure when to change to the new time zone.
    • If you wear an insulin pump, remember to change the time on the pump when you arrive at your destination (or along the way if crossing time zones very slowly by car, bus or train).

tips from the trenches of type 1 diabetes
This one bit me after a long car trip - forgot to change once we got home and it made things wonky until I caught on.

~Mom of an 11-year old with diabetes

Any questions? Comments? Feel free to Contact Us.

The above information was significantly modified with permission from The Alberta Children’s Hospital Diabetes Clinic information handouts.

The above information was reviewed for content accuracy by clinical staff of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Diabetes Clinic.

This material has been developed from sources that we believe are accurate, however, as the field of medicine (in particular as it applies to diabetes) is rapidly evolving, the information should not be relied upon, as it is designed for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment. If you have specific questions, please consult your doctor or appropriate health care professional.

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