Teens and Driving with Diabetes

teensNo matter who you are, how old you are or where you live, driving is a dangerous thing. It is very exciting when you first get your license and sit behind the wheel. You could not wait to get out on the road and feel the freedom of being able to go wherever you wanted whenever you wanted. However, for teenagers that are diabetic, not only do they need to understand the dangers of the road like everyone else, they also need to understand that there are extra precautions that they need to take before getting behind the wheel. Safety is the key, and knowledge is power when driving for anyone.

Along with the regular rules of the road, your teen should follow additional rules to stay safe behind the wheel. Before they get in the car to drive, it is important for them to check their blood glucose levels. There should be no exceptions to this rule. If levels are low, they will be able to take the steps needed to get them back to normal before they leave. Danger could be lurking around every turn if they do not check before climbing behind the wheel.

Driving with low blood sugar is like driving drunk, and that is dangerous for everyone. While out driving, they should check their levels often. Because stress and even excitement can have an effect on their blood sugar, they should be mindful, especially when first starting out on their own. If something does not feel right while they are driving, they need to know that they should pull over right away and test their levels. Even if the test comes out fine, they should wait at least fifteen minutes and then check again. It could mean the difference between simply not feeling well or risking hypoglycemia while driving.

It is also important that they keep supplies in the car in case of an emergency. They should always have a snack on hand that is ready for them to eat, along with a drink, in case of low levels. Of course, keeping a supply of medication is also important just in case they need to take a shot of insulin. Glucose tablets or Elovate 15 SlimPaks are also items to keep in the car as they quickly supply your body with glucose. Pack a little bag of snacks that are non-perishable and can be kept in the glove box for just such emergencies. Naturally, they should always have their ID bracelet or necklace with them at all times when driving. If there is an emergency or an accident, medical staff will be able to treat your teen the right way if they are taken to a hospital.

Kids are always in a hurry to get to their friend’s house or out the door to get where they are going. However, it is important for diabetic teens to check their levels before they go. If need be, let them know it is okay to call their friend and let them know that they will be a little late.

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