Teens, Driving, and Diabetes: A Scary Mix

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?

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Author: Carol

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