USF Diabetes Center
USF Health

Teen Talk


As we are coming up on the summer months,  I have come up with some helpful tips to help manage your diabetes and still enjoy the sun.

  1. Make sure to check your blood sugar before heading off to the beach because sand gets on your fingers and can alter your number.
  2. Be sure to have glucose tabs, a juice box, or snacks nearby because swimming can rapidly decrease your blood sugar causing you to be low.
  3. If you have an insulin pump, it is up to you whether you want to disconnect or keep it on. When I go swimming I take it off but if I am tanning or laying out, I keep it connected.
  4. To make sure your pump doesn’t get overheated, try to keep it under your body so it isn’t directly out in the sun.
  5. If you have your site in a noticeable place, don’t be self-conscious!

As we end the school year and start summer, your daily routine is likely to change. I personally sleep until noon and go to bed when I please. This however, can make my numbers low because my basal rates aren’t adjusted to this new pattern. So just be aware that you may have to change your dosage to fit with your schedule.

For kids looking for a new adventure this summer, I recommend a diabetes summer camp. It is a great way to have fun and feel safe at the same time because everyone there has diabetes and knows what to do. This will also ease the mind of parents so they don’t have to worry the whole time you are away. From over 5 years of personal experience, I have made lifelong friends and memories. I learned new ways to manage my diabetes and felt comfortable knowing that everyone else was dealing with the same thing.

Getting Ready for Prom!

When it comes to fashion, most teens want to dress to impress, especially for special occasions like prom. However, when you add a pump in the mix it becomes a little more challenging. Guys get to wear comfy pants with big pockets they can easily slip their pump into without any worries. Us girls on the other hand, have to find our dream dress with matching shoes and jewelry, get our hair and make-up done to perfection, and make sure we have a date! On top of all that, where the heck do we put our pump in a place that isn’t easily seen?

Let’s start with dress shopping 101:

  1. When looking for your dream dress, try to keep in mind different styles that compliment not only your body, but also gives your pump the ability to be hidden.
  2.  Be careful with dresses that are too tight or form-fitted because your pump is more likely to show through and create an unwanted bulge.
  3.  Dresses with ruffles or rusching help to distract and keep people focused on your dress rather than your pump.

Once you have your dress, you need to figure out where to put your pump in a place that is secure. There are special products designed for pumps which you can find online. Some include: bra pockets, leg garters, and slip shorts. If you don’t want to get that fancy, you can do my personal favorite, putting it in your underwear. (Another place to consider is in the control top/thigh control part of panty hose on the inside of your thigh – that is what Miss America did!)

If you get hungry at prom, you obviously don’t want to lift up your dress in front of everyone so your best bet is going to the bathroom real quick to bolus. When you need to check your blood sugar, you can casually do it in your lap or again, go to the bathroom. When you’re done just slip it back into your purse and continue on with your night. Or, if you use a pump with a remote control, your life is not as complicated.  (Medronic and Animas have had these features on their pumps in the past.)

Prom is a fun and exciting event that every teenager should enjoy. I hope these tips help, and just remember that diabetes should not hold you back from anything!

About Laura

Before finally being diagnosed at age 9, Laura spent nearly a week in the hospital undergoing serveral tests. Doctors were stumped since she had no symptoms and no family history of diabetes

Since then, Laura continues to thrive in Florida and is a living example of how well kids with diabetes can function in a such busy world! Originally from Connecticut, Laura now lives in Florida with her parents. She enjoys cheerleading, babysitting, spending time at the beach, and hanging out with her friends! Before finally being diagnosed at age 9, Laura spent nearly a week in the hospital undergoing serveral tests. Doctors were stumped since she had no symptoms and no family history of diabetes.