Blood glucose levels in children with Type 1 diabetes attending a residential diabetes camp: a 2-year review

Diabet Med. 2013 Mar;30(3):e123-6. doi: 10.1111/dme.12070.


Aims: The objective of this retrospective analysis of blood glucose values at a week-long residential summer camp for children with Type 1 diabetes was to provide experiential data to reinforce current summer camp guidelines and to determine if specific interventions implemented between 2009 and 2010 were effective in lowering average blood glucose among our campers without increasing risk of hypoglycaemia.

Methods: Blood glucose records were obtained from a random selection of children who attended six 1-week camp sessions, three each in 2009 and 2010. Five values per day: pre-meal breakfast, lunch and dinner, pre-evening snack and midnight values were analysed.

Results: A total of 13,267 blood glucose values were included. There were no severe hypoglycaemic episodes, seizures or need for full-dose glucagon or intravenous glucose in either year. Mean blood glucose was significantly lower in 2010 compared with 2009 (9.22 vs. 10.06 mmol/l, P < 0.001). Older age and camp year were associated with lower mean blood glucose, even when controlling for gender and duration of diabetes.

Conclusions: This analysis is the largest so far conducted at a residential diabetes camp. Mean blood glucose levels were lower than other published studies. Although we cannot attribute a cause-and-effect relationship between our interventions and the improvement in blood glucose between 2009 and 2010, the use of pre-meal insulin bolus doses, low glycaemic meals and highlighting blood glucose levels in logs before being reviewed by endocrinologists are strongly encouraged. From this study we hope to establish benchmarks for comparison among camps and begin to identify best practices.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Camping
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin