Diabetes Preparedness

Emergency Kits

Prepare two emergency kits: one for school/work and one that is kept with you (but don’t leave it in the car). Include in each kit:

  • Insulin (one vial or pen of all types that you use) -- be sure to rotate the insulin before it expires
  • Syringes and/or pen needles
  • A paper with your insulin doses written down
  • A list of emergency contact numbers, include the Diabetes Hotline (323-361-2311) and After Hours Emergencies (323-361-2403)
  • Meter and strips
  • Lancing device (poker) and lancets
  • Glucagon emergency kit
  • Sugar source for treatment of lows
  • Some carbohydrate containing foods (granola bars, snack crackers, etc.)

Pump Users:

In addition to the above, include in your kits:

  • Extra batteries
  • Infusion sets
  • Reservoir/syringes
  • Ketone strips
  • Bottle of Lantus in case of pump failure

Store these items in an easy-to-identify container, in a location that is easy to take with you if you need to leave your home in case of any emergency.

General Sick Day Guidelines

Vomiting may be a sign of impending or existing diabetic ketoacidosis. If your child vomits more than one time in a 24-hour period, call for medical advice.

  • Never stop taking insulin.
  • Always presume illness is diabetes-related until proven otherwise.
  • Check blood glucose every one to two hours when sick.
  • Check ketones with any illness, and call if ketones are moderate to large.
  • Prevent hospitalization and ER visits by calling for advice early.
  • Fluids are important when ill, food is not.
  • Vomiting is serious -- if vomiting occurs more than one time, call for advice.
  • If vomiting occurs, measure 4 oz. of fluid and give by teaspoon, a little at a time.
  • Give sugar-free fluids if blood glucose is greater than 200, and sugar containing fluids if blood glucose is less than 200.
  • Be prepared! Have a sick day supply kit at home.

Make Sure Your Child Is Safe at School

  • Be sure your school form is completed, and bring any school forms to your next appointment.
  • Set up meetings with school personnel to discuss your child’s diabetes plan.
  • You have rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ask for a 504 plan; this guarantees that all issues are discussed, addressed and resolved before school starts.

If you have problems, questions or want to get help in dealing with your child’s school, contact:

Lisa Murdock at American Diabetes Association
Phone: 800-676-4065, Ext. 7415
Email: lmurdock@diabetes.org


Download the Diabetes Hotline Top 10 FAQ here.