Tonight I did a workshop for a nanny/babysitting service in Austin so their nannies could help families with children with type one diabetes. It was about an hour an a half and I provided the basics about what diabetes is and we discussed what parents fear most in leaving their child. We covered a lot of basics of care like drawing insulin in syringes, giving shots to a stuffed practice tool, playing with my pump and I had each of them check my blood sugar. I brought six different kinds of meters, insulin pens, Glucagon, etc, so they were familiar with what they might find in a families home and I put together a 24-page handout with lots of details, should the get a client and need a refresher.
The women were fascinated. We even practiced counting carbs and there was a tray of fruit, cheese and crackers and I asked them which of the foods on the tray had carbs. They all agreed that the crackers and maybe the cheese had carbs, but they had no idea fruit was in that category; so we had the basics of nutrition talk.
One of the things I stressed was that their intuition was their best guide. If they think something isn’t right with the child, just check their blood sugar and find out. We talked a LOT about lows; what to look for, how to handle and what to do in an emergency.
I also stressed how important it is to CALL THE PARENTS if they don’t know what to do, or even if they need to know how many carbs are in a banana. I love getting calls from my sitter asking for clarification on something. It gives me a chance to praise her good decision making and also help them feel more comfortable about coming back for another sitting job.
I would love to know your stories around babysitting; what worries you most and what would give you more confidence about going on a date with your significant other. Having a child with diabetes can be so all consuming and we all need a break, so I am hoping a few more families living in Austin will get a chance to get out.
Photo by Tiffany Chapman http://www.freephotosbank.com/10489.html