Flying with diabetes

Does anyone have experience with flying with a toddler/young child with diabetes? Next month my brother-in-law is getting married in Florida and my husband is the best man and he would like us to bring the whole family. The last time we flew was just a few weeks before Rory was diagnosed in 2007. I haven’t looked up the regulations or procedures to follow as far as how to travel with his supplies. I thought maybe someone has had real experience with it and knows what one could expect and any tips.

I am still debating about it anyway. We thought about just driving down, but we are coming from central PA and the thought of driving with 3 small children was not very appealing either. We also wished we had the option to just have the kids stay home with my parents, but with everything going on with Rory, I don’t think my parents would feel comfortable, and I don’t think I would either, to be away from him for severals days. They have learned how to give boluses with his pump, but I am the only one doing the site changes. Plus my 10 month old is still nursing.

I think in the end it will just be my husband going down and i will stay home with the kids. It is just as much about the stress of traveling with 3 small children as it is with traveling with Rory’s situation.

I can still look up the regulations and see just how everything would be handled if we did decide to go, but if others have any tips just let me know. If not for now, it will be helpful for future travels.

I travel frequently with my 2 small children 1 w/diabetes. Typically I travel at a time that I know will fit in with her snack or lunch time and I just give her something new and fun to eat (but not too messy). I never have trouble at security either. I carry her insulin, juice and glucagon in a cooler with a cooler pack and they don’t question it. It also never fails to have a few new toys to play around with to keep them busy. I hope you go and have a good time. It’s never easy to travel with kids even the one’s without diabetes but just don’t let it stop you from going. Enjoy Florida.

We haven’t traveled since our son was diagnosed with diabetes 2 years ago. I also have a toddler who has a complex seizure disorder. I understand how you feel about leaving your children with your parents. I don’t like to leave the boys with anyone if I am going to be very far from home. Is Rory’s diabetes managed pretty well? Nic, my 7 year old with diabetes, is on an insulin pump. We just started that about a month ago. It has made managing diabetes much easier. We have went on overnight trips since we have had the pump and it is much more convenient to travel.

Hi, Natalie,
I’ve travelled a few times with Elisabeth and Elsie-Leah since diagnosis and both times were easier than I expected, although I was very prepared. I had her juice boxes in ziplocs in her diaper bag and had all other medical items in ziploc bags that I declared at the beginning of the screening, and it was pretty simple diabetic wise. The rest of security was the more challenging bit…getting everyone’s shoes, jackets off, stroller folded, etc…but having my husband along made it much easier. I printed out the regulations re: diabetes to have on hand just in case they gave me trouble, but I didn’t end up needing it. I also carry emergency info/contact info/insurance, etc. on one sheet in the diaper bag just in case, but have never needed it.

Aside from that, the travel wasn’t too bad. We usually take a mini-DVD player which is useful when they start to get fussy mid-way through the flight. I also take tons of snacks along plus lunch since they usually don’t serve lunch these days. I find the lunchables to be good with the protein/carb and they’re convenient to travel with. I also take coloring books, crayons, some new little things to keep them busy…stickers, post-its, etc.

I think if you feel strong enough, you should try to do it as it will send the message to your kids that you can still do things you did before with Diabetes, you just have to plan a bit more. It might be a much needed family fun time away from your regular routine. Don’t know if you’ll be at the beach, but I guess that would be one thing to figure out and consider. I’d be interested how other parents dealt with this issue for little ones who are pumpers. I frankly haven’t really gone there as of yet as I’m not sure how to manage it.

Keep us posted!

Keep me posted. I will fly with Ella for the first time since her dx. We are also going to Florida in May. Let’s keep in touch on what we find out.
Go and enjoy!! Don’t let it get you down. Just be prepared.
The baby should just sleep on the plane. Ella did very well as an infant.

Best of luck and prayers to you.

I flew with two young children alone. My diabetic is 4 and we have a 1 year old. I got a doctors note for all of her supplies. The only thing that they wouldnt let us take was the ice pack. Which wasn’t cool and the insolin was warm pretty quick. I should have had the doc add that to the supply list. Jasmine also got jet lag and ended up puking after the flight, I would give her something for that first if we flew again.

Thanks for all the tips. We will have to use them at another time. I have decided I will just stay home with the kids. From the sounds of it, the trip with Rory wouldn’t be much of a big deal, just a lot of planning ahead of time. It is a combination of things that will just have me stressed out. The wedding is at 5:30pm on a Sunday and the reception is at a different location than the church. By the time we get through the wedding and get settled at the reception it will be close to the kids’ bedtime and they are not good at that time of the evening. I will end up having to take them all back to a hotel or his brother’s house. I think I would rather do our first travel somewhere closer and be able to spend more time to enjoy it. Because of my husband’s job we were only going to be able to go for a long weekend. His brother understands and I will just have to plan something fun with the kids that weekend. Alana won’t have to miss her first parade for dance class :slight_smile:

I have never traveled with kids, but have flown many times with diabetes and it works about the same. Rule one, take the prescriptions with you. Being somewhere wihtout and needing a refill is awful. Rule 2 designate a sharps container. Leaving them in hotel rooms is not really a good solution since they can be abused in other ways. Better to head off a problem than have one. Rule 3, carry snacks and use them. I try to run a little high all day when I fly. I jack up my BS to the high 100’s when flying. I landed a plane in route to Orlando in Charlotte, waking up in the airport emergency room was not nice. Rule 4, carry all meds in your carry on. Never separate something you need from you.

Rule 5, the most important, hey kids love to fly, have fun. yeah you have to be careful, but don’t take the magic out of the trip. It is a big jet, let the little ones enjoy every part of it, oh and do go. If the little one feels their diabetes caused a trip to be canceled, they will be afraid to fly or travel. Do not let that happen, we cannot be afraid of what we are.

Thank you for all the helpful advice and tips from experiences. Like I said, I will feel well prepared for the next trip. I think we will plan something for later this year. But I think the kids and I will skip out on this one. Not really because of Rory’s diabetes but for other reasons like I mentioned. The weekend is planned more for adults and the wedding and reception is more adult. Other than getting to see some family, I don’t think the kids will get to have much fun. We have gone back and forth on the idea some many times and I think we have just decided to have me stay home with the kids will be the easiest thing to do and then I can do something fun with the kids. We will definitely have to plan a family trip somewhere, though. I think we have only traveled as far as my parents, 2 hours away. I know we need to show the kids that there is no need to be afraid of traveling or flying with this disease and we can continue to lead normal lives.

One thing i was concerned about as far as Rory’s stuff goes has to do with his insulin. He is using diluted insulin, He gets a prescription for Humalog U100 and then I take 1cc of that and 3cc of diluting solution to make 1/4 strength U25. So the actual vial of insulin that he uses is a generic vial with no official label other than the handwritten one I put on it. I was assuming this may be an issue and that I may need to get an official label from the doc or something since it is separate from the prescription vial of Humalog. Anyone have experience as far as that goes? And how about with getting prescriptions filled if needed when out of state? Rory is covered under my husbands health plan and he also gets Medicaid coverage for his co-pays, so in the end we don’t have to pay anything out of pocket for his prescriptions. But out of state will we have to pay at least the co-pays? Depending on the length of the trip we may not even need a refill but just in case it is needed, I am wondering what to expect for that.