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It's important for children with diabetes to be physically active. Encourage your child to do the same activities that other kids do. Your child can still play sports, run on the playground, ride bikes, swim—just like other kids. It just takes a little more planning and preparing than it did before.
Kids use the sugar they get from food to give them energy. Getting exercise and being physically active helps their bodies use up extra energy. This means that sugar doesn't build up in their blood. Controlling their blood sugar helps children control their diabetes.
Exercise may help children in other ways too. For example, it may help to make their hearts, muscles, and bones stronger. Some kids may need to take less insulin when they exercise. Talk to your doctor or diabetes care team about this.
Exercise can make children feel stronger and happier. It can help them relax and sleep better. And it gives them confidence in other things they do.
Here are some things you can do to help your child exercise safely.
Teachers and coaches may not know the signs of sudden high or low blood sugar. You might need to explain what symptoms your child may have and how to deal with them.
You can buy these at most drugstores. Or try a temporary medical ID tattoo. All of these products can help medical personnel give the right care.
Make a checklist that you and your child can follow. Make sure that your child uses it with the gym teacher or coach too.
For example, if your child will be running, don't inject it in the leg.
If your child will be exercising very hard and for longer than 30 minutes, you may want to give another snack. Talk to your doctor or diabetes care team about snacks during exercise.
This helps to avoid dehydration. (You can also use sports drinks to give your child needed fluids and sugar.)
It can be used to raise your child's blood sugar if it's very low.
This is especially important to do if it's a new activity.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter F627 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Diabetes and Exercise in Children".
Adaptation Date: 5/7/2021
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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