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We have a 2 1/2 year old son with diabetes who we wrote to you about previously.

Do you have any suggestions for battling time changes when flying from one continent to another? We are in the Middle East, 7 hours ahead of Toronto time, and will be flying for a total of 24 hours to get back to Canada (including stop-overs). We are considering flying 1/2 way (3 hours time change) and staying there for an evening or two and then tackling the other 4 hour time change. Any recommendations?

Don't mess up your flights home with a layover, unless you've got family or friends you want to visit anyway!

In little kids, our advice for long flights with changing time zones, is:

  1. Add up the total dose of insulin given in twenty four hours (if it's variable from one day to the next, take an average of the most recent 7 days), then
  2. Divide this number of units by 4.
  3. Give this dose (1/4 of the daily dose) as 4 equal shots of Regular every 6 hours (1/4 of the daily dose every 1/4 of the day).
  4. Feed your son every 6 hours. Bring food that you know he likes with you: never trust the airline's food supply. And bring extra food, in case you're stuck on a runway for an extended period of time.
  5. Let him run a bit higher than usual, just to avoid the slight risk of hypoglycemia.
  6. Be sure to monitor his blood sugar at least every 6 hours, preferably every 3-4 hours, during the flight.
  7. Be aware that some meter's performance may be affected by altitude effects when you're flying. It's usually a minimal effect, but (as we hinted before), don't aim for tight control during the trip!

A note about your One Touch meter (from LifeScan):

Some blood glucose meters cannot guarantee accurate results above certain altitudes (some as little as 7,000 feet--which does not facilitate testing during air travel).

ONE TOUCH technology, however, has been proven accurate at high altitudes. In fact, the ONE TOUCH II was taken and tested on a space shuttle!

Customers should refer to their owners manual for specific altitude limitations, but do not need to worry about altitude, in relation to accuracy, with LifeScan systems.

Original posting 21 Mar 96


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