A new study has found that children with diabetes can find it difficult to keep up their drug routines at weekends and during school holidays. Focusing on children with Type 1 diabetes, the study showed that holiday distractions lead to a 20% drop in children taking their medicine.
For the study, 100 children aged between 8 and 18 were tracked over the course of a year. This is particularly concerning given that a 25% drop in medicine adherence has been linked with big increases in hospitalisation and mortality in adults with Type 1 diabetes.
While the study was conducted in Australia, this is certainly a trend that also occurs in Ireland. Doctors all around the country will be familiar with parents returning after trips away expressing their concern because their children have not been maintaining their regular medicine routines. The same can happen over bank holidays and other periods when the normal day to day schedule gets broken up.
We would encourage all parents who have children with Type 1 diabetes to make sure they have sufficient medicine before they go away and to ensure it is one of the first things they pack when they are getting ready to travel. The first step to making sure the normal medicine routine is followed is to make sure you have the supply when it is needed.
We would also encourage parents to build medicine taking into the day to day schedule during trips. It’s very easy to forget about this important task when there’s lots of other things to see and do.
Interestingly, the study also noted similar issues of children not maintaining their medicine routine were also found for children with cystic fibrosis. This may indicate that this problem extends beyond diabetes treatment and relate to all chronic conditions.
The same advice applies to all parents with children who require ongoing treatment. Make sure they have the right medicine and make sure they are taking it when they are meant to.