It is important to inform teachers, caregivers, medical personnel, flight attendants, airport security, and other such people of your child’s special diet. Letters can be a helpful way to keep everyone informed on how to care for your child. Keep a copy of these letters with you at all times for the emergency department, just in case you need to make a last-minute visit to the hospital. Most emergency departments are not familiar with how to manage a child on the ketogenic diet and will need guidance on what intravenous fluids and medications are safe.
Here is a sample letter that you can fill out and bring to hospital emergency departments or primary physicians:
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is intended to inform medical personnel of (Insert Name)’s special health care needs.
(Insert Name) has (Insert Diagnosis) and is on the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is an extremely precise high fat diet. (Insert Name)’s diet has been individually calculated by a dietitian and meals have to be weighed precisely on a gram scale.
Please refrain from administering any dextrose-containing intravenous fluids or carbohydrate-containing medications. In may be helpful to add an allergy to dextrose on (Insert Name)’s chart or documentation, so that it is visible to food service, pharmacy, and nursing staff. (Insert Name) will need to maintain ketosis, with a goal of 4+ urine ketones, and should maintain a blood glucose level above 40 mg/dl. To treat a blood glucose below this range, please provide 15–30 ml juice and recheck after 15 minutes (Note that these values may be different for your specific ketogenic diet program).
The ketogenic diet team at (Insert Name of Medical Center/Hospital) appreciates your cooperation. If there are specific questions or concerns please contact (Insert Name of Dietitian), pediatric dietitian, at (Insert Phone Number of Dietitian) or Dr. (Insert Name of Neurologist), at (Insert Phone Number of Neurologist). The on-call neurologist can also be reached at (Insert on-call contact number).
Dr. (Insert Name of Neurologist)
(Insert Name of Medical Center/Hospital)