How diabetic teens and kids can learn from one another

June 17, 2011 7:21:08 AM PDT
Parents of children with medical conditions can be reluctant to leave them home with babysitters. A new service is helping put their minds at ease, at least for parents of diabetic children.

Type 1 diabetes with its need for finger sticks and insulin needles can be daunting for children. Now, those kids can be in good hands when their parents need a night out.

Children with type 1 diabetes have to check their blood sugar and sometimes use insulin several times a day. Parents in need of a date night or a time out can now contact and know their children will be safe and kept in good hands.

Actress Kaylee Souther babysits for 7-year-old Theo King. But there is a very special thing they do together.

Theo has type 1 diabetes. He tests his blood sugar and takes insulin. It's not just luck though that Kaylee also has type 1 diabetes. Bayard King and his wife found Kaylee on the website. It matches kids with diabetes to babysitters with diabetes.

Besides the freedom it gives the King family, there's something else.

"To have a big sister that you can turn to, to ask questions that he may not ask us, but he might feel comfortable asking someone else," said Bayard King, Theo's father.

Kaylee knows what Theo goes through too.

"It's hard for a kid to go through school and be different and not really understand it," Kaylee said. "It helps to have someone older who has dealt with it and is okay."

Dartmouth senior Kimberly Ross, 22, started the Safesittings Website when she was 15 and already had type 1 diabetes.

"I was talking to families of children with diabetes and about how hard it was to find babysitters who knew about diabetes," she said. "But I said 'I could be your babysitter.'"

The site is now nationwide and matches city by city. And it also helps babysitters with their own illness.

"I want to be a good example to them. When I'm with him, I also test more's also helped me to be more on top of it and in control myself," said Kaylee.

To learn more about SafeSittings follow the link below: