Birthdays - To Go?

Do you drop off your child with diabetes at birthday parties?

The 6th birthday party is the one parents around here have somehow agreed we’ll start dropping the kiddos off. Unless the invite says Please Stay With Your Child, we just don’t. The kids are getting used to their independence, and if something goes wrong, we’re a phone call away.

Not so simple for children with diabetes, though. Do I stay or do I go?

I think Benny is about as independent and in control of his diabetes as a six-year-old can be. As long as an adult supervises and counts his carbs, Benny can use his pump and check BG. But birthday parties are different - the excitement brings some crazy BG highs and all the running around can crash him low.

I’ve tried leaving Benny this year when I’m really comfortable with the setting, especially if the party’s at a neighbor’s house. I always want to eyeball the cake myself, though, and I worry about other parents recognizing a low. I do want to help Benny become independent - better a BG blip than a hovering, helicopter mom. Then again, what if it’s not a blip, but a blow-up?

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I think 6 is too young for the total responsibility. If you have the adult trained and they say “yes I will take on this responsibility” you can leave him. Otherwise some well meaning child or adult could cause some harm. Just giving my perspective as a first grade teacher.

One thing to try would be, if the house is close, to leave until just before the meal. Come back for the counting and until the meal is over to make sure nothing extra gets dumped in and then leave again if he is doing well or until you want to make sure he check his BG. Just a thought.

I remember this! I would still go at age 6. I think that I stopped staying for the entire when my daughter was 8 or 9 depending on where the party was or how well I knew the parents and how comfortable they were with the situation. If I did leave her I would still go back for the food part of the party to make sure the bolus was as close as possible. I found that if I offered my services to the usually harried parents hosting the party then I felt less like a helicopter mom and my daughter and the other kids didn’t bat an eye at my presence. I didn’t feel comfortable giving the host parents the responsibility of recognizing and treating a low - they were usually very busy and distracted by all the goings on to be able to focus on my child.

Well, frankly, I’m 54 and sometimes I wish my mom was here hovering over me and making sure I was eating the right things and bolusing correctly.

But seriously, if you still feel anxious about it, perhaps that’s your intuition telling you that he’s not quite ready yet to go auto-pilot around all that cake, candy and chaos?

I agree with kmd, if it were me, I would offer my services to the parents and hang out during the party. My daughter is 5 years and I mostly manage her Diabetes. It helps that I’m very close to her friends and we usually do family type parties together rather than the Drop-off. But, I’m sure these situations will arise as she gets older, and I would totally be a helicopter parent. Take care & hope it goes well!