JDRFStoriesTips for managing type 1 during the UK’s heatwave and your summer holidays

Tips for managing type 1 during the UK’s heatwave and your summer holidays

This summer we want to hear about your type 1 diabetes travel tips proving that, with just a little extra planning, you can beat the heat this summer and live life to the full.

As temperatures increase extra precautions are needed to keep insulin cool and type 1 manageable. Generally, hot weather can either increase or decrease blood glucose depending on the circumstances, so you have to be careful and monitor it closely.

Here are a few things to remember for summer:

  • Never leave insulin in hot places or direct sunlight. Insulin should be kept at room temperature (below 30 degrees Celsius but above 2 degrees Celsius as this can weaken the potency).  Other signs of heat damage include clear insulin turning cloudy, insulin might change colour or insulin might have grainy, solid bits in it and should not be used.
  • High temperatures can affect the accuracy of meters and test strips – again do not leave these in hot places or direct sunlight.
  • Regarding pumps, hot temperatures can increase the risk of blockages (known as occlusions), which hinder proper insulin delivery. It’s best to keep the pump shaded and cool avoiding prolonged exposure to heat.
  • Invest in a way to keep your insulin cold. There are a variety of cold packs designed to insulate pens and vials when a fridge isn’t available. You should not put insulin directly on ice as this risks cooling it below the range it should be at/freezing it, which damages the insulin.
  • Sunburn can cause blood glucose levels to increase – make sure you protect your skin with a SPF sunscreen.

Mechelle and Martin McAlley from Aberdeen are parents to Ty, aged 9, and Taylor, four. Ty was diagnosed when he was three, but his type 1 has not stopped the family leading active lives.

The McAlley Family










Additional T1 travel tips from the McAlley family:

  • Get a letter from your diabetes clinic to assist with airport security
  • Download images from your Carbs & Cals app in case you don’t have a wifi connection
  • Take your diabetes kit in your hand luggage and carry spares of everything
  • Make sure you are well covered with comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Above all, enjoy your holiday and precious family time – don’t let diabetes stop you getting outdoors this summer.

Share your tips

Do you have any #T1Travel tips for the type 1 community? Please share your tips on Twitter and Facebook tagging @JDRFUK