Play, sports and friends

Sport and play 
It is very important that kids living with diabetes get exercise and are active. With diabetes, problems can occur as children get older so it is important they keep active and develop good exercise habits now. Getting active will help them feel well and healthy, even with diabetes. 

There are many ways for children to get active such as joining a sports team or club, taking up swimming or tennis. Not every child has an interest in sports so don’t worry, there is still plenty of fun ways to keep them active. Safefood have launched a campaign to encourage children to get active and bring back play. Follow this link to their games hub where you will find lots of new and nostalgic ideas on how to get children active and most importantly encourage good exercise habits for the future!

What to tell your friends

It can be difficult for people who don’t have diabetes to understand what it’s like. They don’t really know why you have to be careful about what and when you eat and why you have to have injections. If they don’t know that you have diabetes, it might seem a little strange to them that you have to do some things that they don’t.
If you want your friends to understand, you really ought to tell them about your diabetes. You could tell them that they can’t catch diabetes from you, because it is not a contagious thing like the flu. Perhaps it would also be nice to know that sometimes it makes you act a little strange. If you act tired or annoyed, for example, it may be because you need food or insulin and not because you suddenly don’t like them.

They also need to know to call your parents or any other grown-up if you suddenly get ill.

They ought to know that you can’t eat and drink the same sweet things as they can. Because you have diabetes, you have to be careful about how much sugar you eat.
Apart from this, you can play and do all the same sports that they do. In fact, the only difference between them and you is that you have to be a little more careful about a few, small things.

What happens when I exercise?
When you run around and use your body, you use a lot of energy. When you use a lot of energy, you use a lot of glucose. Therefore it is important that you make sure to get enough to eat, to measure your blood glucose and to get a balance with insulin.
If you play football, tennis or any other game and you get tired at training, it may be a good idea to have some fast acting carbohydrate for example a fruit pastilles or a glass of orange juice.