My son with diabetes has started driving within the last six months. It is scary and worrisome enough just having a teen driver. As my neighbor said, “It’s not if, it’s when,” meaning they will eventually have a wreck. What a scary thought. I have learned that I can’t worry each time he leaves or I’d be a nervous wreck.
Having diabetes adds additional worries, especially when you have a teen in the midst of teen rebellion, who sometimes uses his diabetes to rebel. We went through a period of him not checking his blood sugar or bolusing for carbs when ate. Thankfully, he has made progress with that.
My main worry with a teen driver and diabetes is a low blood sugar while driving.
He can be rather scatter-brained at times, so he doesn’t always restock his “low” supply in his car. I try and keep quick fix drinks and non-melting candy in his glove box. I tell him to check his blood sugar before he drives, and retest if he is driving for a while. A CGM is a lifesaver for driving. As a healthcare professional, I have heard the horror stories of people whose blood sugar dropped and they had a wreck or worse.
Another fear is that he will run out of gas or have a low and not have a snack or money with him.
So I have recently gotten him a pre-paid student PayPal card. This has turned out to be a great thing. I can easily transfer money onto a Visa card at any time for emergencies, as well as keep an emergency balance on the card. I chose the PayPal option because there are no monthly fees. Plus I can see each transaction he makes. He can also add his own money that he makes working.
So, while there are still worries with a teen driver, being prepared helps me worry less.
Any ideas on how you handle teens’ driving and diabetes? What snacks do you keep in the car?