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It can be difficult for a parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes to find the perfect babysitter for your diabetic child that is able and even willing to provide diabetes care.
One of the most important things to look for is someone who has experience with caring for children with Diabetes.
Babysitters who are experienced with caring for diabetic children will understand what type of care your child needs and how to avoid low and high blood glucose levels.
It is critical for the babysitter to know how to manage your child’s blood sugar levels, so you can have some needed time off.
The following tips are for informational purposes only. Always consult with your child’s Diabetes Care team and follow their medical advice.
Finding a Babysitter
Babysitters tend to be in high demand. You’re going to want to look for a caring, patient person with experience and patience when it comes to your child’s needs.
Consider asking family members or friends if they know anyone who would make the right fit. This is an important part of your child’s safety while you are away from them.
What things to consider when looking for a babysitter
There is no one size fits all answer to that question, but there are some key points of consideration.
Step 1: Searching for a Babysitter
Find out if there are any babysitters in the area that can provide all the extra steps necessary to keep your type one diabetic child(ren) safe.
Not every babysitter will be willing to provide special care for type one diabetic children, so do your homework before you hand over the responsibility of caring for your child.
If you are unable to find a trusted babysitter that meets your needs, then consider a trusted family member that is able to take care of your t1d child.
Step 2: Requirements
Consider whether if this person has enough experience with kids who have type 1 diabetes.
It’s wise to find out as much information about them as possible beforehand in order to make sure everything goes smoothly.
You’ll want someone who is capable and comfortable, as well as happy to be in your home.
Step 3: Time Commitment
Look at how much time they are able to commit to taking care of your diabetic child: weekly, daily, or on an hourly basis?
If your child is an infant, I personally do not recommend anyone else to take care of your child. My advice as a mom is that max time like 2 hrs, and with a family member, if possible.
My child was diagnosed as a toddler. For our family, my husband and I were able to move our work schedules around, and we only required about 4 hrs of care. See if this can be done in your workplace. Some are very accommodating when a child has special needs.
Now that my child is older. We feel more comfortable leaving her for a few hours at a time. However, the person that takes care of her, needs to at least know how to work a glucose meter for her blood sugar testing, know how to read the Dexcom G6 readings, and give insulin via her insulin pump.
Step 4: Affordability
Consider how much you can afford on the babysitter’s pay per day, per hour, or weekly rate.
Babysitters are usually compensated by the time they spend caring for your child and if it’ll be hourly then that should be specified beforehand as well as what hours they would like to work – so make sure you have an understanding with them before anything starts.
If this person is a family member, use your judgment about monetary compensation. Some family members will take it and others will not, like grandparents.
Step 5: Chemistry
Find someone who meshes well with your child(ren). You’ll want someone who has patience at all times since it can’t always be easy watching kids, especially one with special needs.
If your child has siblings, then it’s important that all of them get along and understand how they may be feeling at any given time.
If all goes according to plan, babysitters help make your life easier so that you can have some time to yourself while still knowing your kids are in good hands.
Step 6: Management of Other Responsibilities
The next thing you need to think about is whether or not this person can handle some of the other responsibilities that come along with caring for your child with diabetes, such as when they have their insulin injections and how much assistance they may require in administering them.
Additionally, do they know what signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) look like?
When and if these symptoms happen, how would they manage this situation?
It’s necessary and very important to make sure they know what to do in the event of an emergency.
Training a Babysitter
As I’ve said above, the babysitter will need to be knowledgeable about diabetes, how it works, and the day-to-day care that is required for a child who has type one diabetes.
They’ll need to know what your diabetes care plan is like as well as any other medications they should keep on hand in case of an emergency or when you are not present.
If you are hiring a babysitter for the first time, be sure to give them an overview of what’s expected and how they can help your little one with their diabetes while at home.
Even if the babysitter is experienced, it’s still a good idea to train them (have a refresher training) on how to use the glucose meters with their test strips, how to read the continuous glocuse monitor graph, as well as what their role will be in case of an emergency.
If you’re going out for more than one day at a time, it might not be wise to leave your child with someone who doesn’t know anything about diabetes.
Instead, consider looking into hiring a professional childcare service that knows how to care for children with type-one diabetes, like they would any other special needs child.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to find someone who’s going to work well alongside your child(ren) because they will grow attached quickly if you’re lucky – so try not to settle on any babysitter too early before really getting into what kind of person they are like when handling these responsibilities.
Finding a babysitter who knows how to use a glucose monitor, and watch out for symptoms like headaches, dizziness or hunger will help ensure your child stays safe while you’re away.
I have created a Babysitter Info sheet where you can write down your family’s and emergency contact information when the babysitter is taking care of your diabetic child. This way they’ll be prepared if anything happens.