This enables teens to effectively manage their diabetes, reducing the risk of complications. With insulin pump therapy and CGM, along with taking the necessary precautions before getting behind the wheel, teens with diabetes can drive safely.
"Teenagers with diabetes, like adults, can drive effectively and be safe, but it means developing a plan ahead of time," says Dr. Francine R. Kaufman, chief medical officer and vice president, Global Medical, Clinical and Health Affairs, Medtronic Diabetes. "It's critically important for teens with diabetes to manage their glucose levels. A low glucose level can impair judgment, which can be particularly dangerous behind the wheel of a car."
To help educate teens with diabetes about how they can manage their diabetes to drive safely, Medtronic, manufacturer of the only FDA-approved integrated insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system, is hosting free, one-day safe driving courses throughout the U.S. To find out more about these courses offered through the Test B4U Drive program, visit www.medtronicdiabetes.com/testb4udrive.
The American Diabetes Association recommends teens -- and anyone else -- with diabetes to take these precautions before grabbing their keys:
* Always carry your blood glucose meter and a quick-acting source of glucose in case you experience a blood glucose low. Pull the car over if you feel any signs of a low glucose level, such as feeling shaky, dizzy or confused.
* If you need to take glucose tablets or drink juice to get your blood glucose back to target range, do not get back on the road until you have checked your blood glucose and know that it is back at a safe level.
* If you have a history of high glucose levels, talk to your healthcare team about whether it might affect your ability to be a safe driver.
* Have your eyes examined annually, as people with diabetes are more likely to develop impaired vision.
"The most important part of a teen's diabetes management plan is checking their glucose levels before driving," says Kaufman. She also recommends teens with diabetes take advantage of all the latest technologies that provide constant insulin delivery as well as timely and accurate readings of glucose levels. "There are tremendous advantages to using an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor together in an integrated system, such as new levels of protection, confidence, and freedom."
Most people with diabetes can drive as effectively as anyone else. If you have diabetes, it's always a good idea to check with your healthcare team to make sure that you are capable of driving and to go over your plan to make sure your diabetes does not get in the way of safe driving.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
The top 10 tips for driving with diabetes
1. Check your blood glucose level before driving. Designate a place where you store your keys at home and post a reminder to check your blood glucose before driving.
2. Alert your parents or friends before driving.
3. Always bring a blood glucose meter with you. But never check your glucose or view data while driving — your focus needs to stay on the road.
4. Keep supplies in the car (like glucose tablets or fruit juice).
5. Don't risk it. Pull over if something doesn’t feel right.
6. It’s okay to be late. Treating your diabetes comes first.
7. Wear a medical ID tag.
8. If you've just been diagnosed, talk to your doctor about driving.
9. Check regularly on long road trips. Your blood glucose level can fluctuate significantly in just an hour’s time.
10. Distractions are a danger for everyone. The same rule applies to all — don’t drive distracted. Never talk or text on your cell phone, tune the radio, interact with passengers or eat while driving.
Tips sourced from the American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Medtronic and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.