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J Paediatr Child Health. 2006 Oct;42(10):643-8.

Safety and efficacy of blood glucose management practices at a diabetes camp.

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Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



Camps are an important part of diabetic management in children yet data on the safety and efficacy of camps are limited. We assessed the safety and efficacy of blood glucose management guidelines at summer camps for diabetic children.


Consistent management guidelines were implemented during 10 consecutive diabetes camps held in the same facility between 1998 and 2002. Using the entire sample of campers aged 9-13 years, we analysed insulin dosage alterations, the frequency of hypoglycaemia (<4 mmol/L), hyperglycaemia (>15 mmol/L) and ketosis and evaluated our overnight management guidelines. The effects of sex, year, age, insulin regimen and duration of diagnosis on hypoglycaemia frequency were determined.


Mean insulin doses decreased 19.2% (95% confidence interval 16.9-21.6%) by the last day of camp (day 6) relative to the day prior to camp. Mean blood glucose levels were 11.4 mmol/L before breakfast and the main evening meal, 11.3 mmol/L before bed, 10.8 mmol/L at midnight and 9.4 mmol/L at 3 am. Of the 10 839 readings analysed, 984 (9.1%) were below 4 mmol/L (0.5 per camper/day) with no clinical grade 3 (seizure or coma) hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia frequency was independent of sex, year, age, insulin regimen and duration of diagnosis (all P > 0.05). There were 2570 (23.7%) readings above 15 mmol/L (1.4 per camper/day) but only 42 (0.4%) were associated with significant ketosis.


Children at diabetes camps experience considerable blood glucose variability; however, the careful application of monitoring and management guidelines can avoid serious adverse events.

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