The last day of school is fast approaching. Pools have opened, and sunscreen has been purchased. With every changing season (and most of the time in between) good-intentioned people comment about what Will should eat or shouldn’t; should do or shouldn’t.
We chalk these conversations up to people who want the best for Will, but sometimes what you think you know can hurt someone with type 1 diabetes more than what you don’t know.
Here are 5 type 1 diabetes summertime myths that may help you show support to your family member or friend.
- Eating too much sugar causes type 1 diabetes.
Doctors and scientists have not yet determined what causes type 1 diabetes, but they do know that there is no relation between type 1 diabetes and eating too much sugar. So, this summer when your type 1 diabetic friend asks you to join them at Handels, don’t judge, say yes with a smile and order the birthday cake flavor –it’s so good!
- Kids with type 1 diabetes can never eat sweets.
This is not true. Just like everyone else, they can eat sweets in moderation. They must always be aware of their glucose levels. And, sometimes, if their levels are too low, eating something sweet will help.
- Running around and participating in summertime activities is not healthy for a type 1 diabetic.
This is just silly. Kids with type 1 diabetes can participate in any activity that a child without type 1 diabetes can. Regular exercise is important in everyone’s life, especially a type 1 diabetic. So, this summer, if you want to invite your type 1 diabetic friend to play basketball before heading to the pool; don’t think twice about it. Extend the invite.
- Kids with type 1 diabetes are stressful and will always have complications.
Summertime sleep overs and day trips to Cedar Point are definitely possible as a type 1 diabetic. If your child’s friend has type 1 diabetes, don’t let that stop you from inviting him or her to spend the day with your family. Talk with the parents of the child and get educated on the do’s and don’ts of type 1 diabetes. If you’re proactive and educated, you can most certainly have a complication-free summer day.
- If a child has type 1 diabetes; the parents did something to cause it.
It doesn’t matter what your child is sick with, as parents, we always find a way to question what we did wrong. If they get the flu when they are little, we think, “Did I wash their hands after we got home from the grocery store?” When your child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you immediately wonder if you did something to make them this way. Then – you become educated. You realize nothing you did or didn’t do caused this. And, hopefully others become educated enough to realize, you are not to blame, and they stop judging. Again, what they “think” they know can do more damage than what they don’t.