Encourage Your Child to Play Video Games Really

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Video games are a favorite pursuit of today's kids, and they have so many different games to choose from. Now there are video games that teach about T1DM! Two of the top games are Starbright Life Adventure Series: Diabetes and Packy and Marlon.

1 Starbright Life Adventure Series: Diabetes comes from the Starbright Foundation, a nonprofit organization that develops programs to help seriously ill children cope with the challenges of their illnesses. This particular program uses interactive adventures to teach children to manage their diabetes properly. There are exercises, quizzes, and arcade games, and the program is available in Spanish. It's available on CD-ROM free of charge for a family that has a child with T1DM between the ages of 5 and 13. Call 800-760-3818 for more information.

1 Packy and Marlon is a role-playing game used with Super-Nintendo. Children learn to plan meals, calculate and administer insulin, and test the blood glucose of two elephants with T1DM. Players get points for properly accomplishing these tasks. The game is available for around $60 from the Boehringer Mannheim Corp.; call 800-428-5076 for more information.

Children who played Packy and Marlon were found to have more self-confidence about managing their diabetes and better communication with friends and care providers. During the six-month trial period, there was a 77 percent reduction in acute care visits because of diabetes.

If it can be said that T1DM may be fun, these games are the basis for that statement.

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