Preparing your child with diabetes for a safe and fun summer camp experience
3 essential tips on how to handle medication needs, hypoglycemia risks and more
Each summer, millions of children in the U.S. participate in summer camps. From overnight adventures to week- or month-long athletic activities, camp offers an exciting change of pace from the school year. But as a parent to a child with diabetes, you might wonder how your child can safely participate in summer fun without putting their health at risk.
As you know, diabetes management requires plenty of preparation — and it’s no different for summer camp. Camp is a departure from the normal routine. With increased physical activity and different eating habits, it’s important to ensure your child’s camp counselors and staff are educated about diabetes, necessary medications, the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar, and what to do should an emergency event occur.
Three top tips for camp prep
Once you’ve decided on a camp for your child, open the lines of communication with camp staff as soon as possible. Here are three essential tips to keep in mind to ensure your child’s diabetes management plan is maintained all summer long, from one activity to the next.
- Learn the capabilities of camp staff and resources so you can plan accordingly. A diabetes camp should have medical professionals with diabetes management experience and know how to handle your child’s medical needs. A traditional camp may require more advanced planning and diabetes education on your part. Work with your child’s healthcare provider to create a diabetes management plan to share with camp staff.
- Provide all necessary medication, supplies and information in case of an emergency. Educate camp staff about your child’s diabetes management plan and review each medication in their toolkit. Provide blood sugar monitoring supplies, oral glucose to treat low blood sugar and glucagon to treat a low blood sugar emergency.
- Ensure your child and camp staff understand low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), as well as signs to watch out for. If untreated, low blood sugar can progress to very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycemia), a medical emergency that requires immediate attention.
Signs of hypoglycemia can include1:
- Combative behavior
- Trouble answering questions
- Loss of consciousness
- Passing out or having a seizure
Talk to your child and camp counselors to ensure they recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar and identify who will carry low blood sugar treatments, or where they will be stored. Your child should also know who to go to if they need help, and camp staff should know what treatment to use and when. Make sure ready-to-use glucagon is always available to treat a low blood sugar emergency. It can be administered if your child has tried correcting with food or drink, or if they’re unable or unwilling to eat or drink, feel like passing out, pass out or have a seizure.
Is my child at risk for hypoglycemia?
The American Diabetes Association and the Endocrine Society state that all patients with diabetes who take insulin are at risk for hypoglycemia — which is why the availability and use of glucagon is a priority2,3. Because low blood sugar can progress quickly and unexpectedly to very low blood sugar, keeping glucagon on-hand can provide a safety net for your child when they need it most.
Understanding glucagon treatment options
If you don’t have a prescription for glucagon, talk to your child’s doctor. Together, you can decide on the best glucagon formulation for your child. Keep in mind that ease of use matters, as glucagon is typically administered in a stressful, high-anxiety environment.
Gvoke HypoPen® (glucagon injection) can be used by anyone the moment it’s needed, like rescue pens for severe allergic reactions. It’s also simple to administer — in a study designed to simulate an emergency situation, 99% of people used it correctly.4,5 See full Instructions for Use.
Arm your child and their camp counselors with Gvoke HypoPen, the ready-to-use rescue pen anyone can administer with confidence.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Hypoglycemia Emergency Care Plan. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/-/media/Files/Health-Information/Health-Professionals/Diabetes/health-care-professionals/Hypoglycemia_Emergency_Care_Plan
- American Diabetes Association. Glycemic targets: Standards of medical care in diabetes—2021. Diabetes Care. 2021;44(suppl 1):S73-S84.
- McCall A, et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metabol. 2022;00:1-34.
- Valentine V, Newswanger B, Prestrelski S, Andre AD, Garibaldi M. Human factors usability and validation studies of a glucagon autoinjector in a simulated severe hypoglycemia rescue situation. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2019;21(9):522-530.
- Newswanger B, Prestreleski S, Andre AD. Human factor studies of a prefilled syringe with stable liquid glucagon in a simulated severe hypoglycemia rescue situation. Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2019;16(9):1015-1025.
INDICATION AND SAFETY SUMMARY
GVOKE is a prescription medicine used to treat very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycemia) in adults and kids with diabetes ages 2 years and above. It is not known if GVOKE is safe and effective in children under 2 years of age.
Do not use GVOKE if:
- you have a tumor in the gland on top of your kidneys (adrenal gland), called a pheochromocytoma.
- you have a tumor in your pancreas called an insulinoma.
- you are allergic to glucagon or any other inactive ingredient in GVOKE.
GVOKE MAY CAUSE SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS, INCLUDING:
High blood pressure
GVOKE can cause high blood pressure in certain people with tumors in their adrenal glands.
Low blood sugar
GVOKE can cause low blood sugar in certain people with tumors in their pancreas called insulinomas by making too much insulin in their bodies.
Serious allergic reaction
Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you have a serious allergic reaction including:
- difficulty breathing
- low blood pressure
COMMON SIDE EFFECTS
The most common side effects of GVOKE in adults include:
- swelling at the injection site
The most common side effects of GVOKE in children include:
- low blood sugar
- high blood sugar
- abdominal pain
- pain or redness at the injection site
These are not all the possible side effects of GVOKE. For more information, ask your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You are encouraged to report side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Before using GVOKE, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you:
- have adrenal gland problems
- have a tumor in your pancreas
- have not had food or water for a long time (prolonged fasting or starvation)
- have low blood sugar that does not go away (chronic hypoglycemia)
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
HOW TO USE
- Read the detailed Instructions for Use that come with GVOKE.
- Use GVOKE exactly how your healthcare provider tells you to use it
- Make sure your relatives, close friends, and caregivers know where you store GVOKE and how to use it the right way before you need their help.
- Act quickly. Having very low blood sugar for a period of time may be harmful.
- Your healthcare provider will tell you how and when to use GVOKE.
- After giving GVOKE, your caregiver should call for emergency medical help right away.
- If you do not respond after 15 minutes, your caregiver may give you another dose, if available. Tell your healthcare provider each time you use GVOKE. Low blood sugar may happen again after receiving an injection of GVOKE. Your diabetes medicine may need to be changed.
HOW TO STORE
- Keep GVOKE in the foil pouch until you are ready to use it.
- Store GVOKE at temperatures between 68°F and 77°F.
- Do not keep it in the refrigerator or let it freeze.
Keep GVOKE and all medicines out of the reach of children.
For more information, call 1-877-937-4737 or go to www.GvokeGlucagon.com.
Please see the Full Prescribing Information for Gvoke