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Situation at theater - advice?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by libbymom, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. libbymom

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    My husband and son went to see a movie last night. Son is 8 and carries a small bag with him everywhere for his D supplies. Last night he had his meter/remote, G4 receiver, bottle of vitamin water, juice box, bag of Skittles, and tube of glucose tabs. The manager came up to them and said he needed to search son's bag. My husband told him that he had type 1 diabetes and it was just his supplies for that. Manager said he still needed to search it. Now this is not some huge backpack; it's just a small bag. All his stuff barely fit in it. Manager pointed to a sign and said, "see, we have the right to search bags". About that time, a woman walked past with a huge purse/bag. Husband asked why they didn't search hers. Manager said they don't search everyone. Husband asked, "then why are you searching an 8 year old's diabetes bag?"

    Manager still insisted, so they gave in and opened the bag. When the manager saw what was in it, he said "you can't take food and drink in the theater". Husband said, "these are the things for when he has low blood sugar". The manager once again pointed to a sign and said, "the sign says you can't take food and drink in the theater". Husband said, "are you telling me that you are going to discriminate against a child with diabetes and not allow his medically necessary things?" Manager said, "that's our policy. We don't allow outside food and drink." At this point, husband had had enough, and he showed him his ticket stub and said, "we are going to watch the movie. If you need to call the police, go ahead." And they walked away. They never heard anything else from the manager.

    Was there a different way to handle this? We've never had this problem anywhere before. I'm so upset with this theater (and so is husband), and wish there was something more we could do.
     
  2. Mish

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    I think that was about all your husband could have done. There was no reason to stand there and argue to with someone who didn't have enough brains to figure out that there should be an exception. It doesn't sound like your husband flipped out, just walked away. It's probably what I would have done too.

    I would call the theater and talk to someone else and expect the law....
     
  3. StacyMM

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    I'm sure everyone prepares differently and my answer may be unpopular as the no-outside-food rule is probably the most overlooked rule in the country, but we do not carry that much into a theater, knowing their policies. Kids carry their glucose tabs and their testing supplies and that's it. I usually have tabs in my purse, too. If they would need additional carbs, I would buy a snack at the concession stand. However, in all of these years, it's never been an issue. We usually buy a snack there, and if they have a number that makes it iffy, we would delay dosing for it, just to be sure. Do diabetics need a quick carb? Certainly. But for me there is a point where it looks like a cheap snack and not like emergency carbs. To each his own and I would never stop someone else...but I'm also not the manager of a theater so it's not my fight anyway :)
     
  4. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I'm sure I would have acting much as your husband did. We don't treat lows with candy but I bring juice, water and tabs into the movie - in fact, without even planning to bring supplies my handbag probably contains that right now.

    And I would follow up with a STRONGLY worded letter to the owner/ CEO of the theater.
     
  5. Christopher

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    This probably won't be popular either. Could the manager have been nicer and a little more flexible? Sure. But at the same time you need to think about the example you are modeling for your child. Rules are rules and just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you can just break the rules because they don't suit you. There were other choices that could have been made. Not judging here. Each person needs to decide for themselves the example they want to set for their children.
     
  6. Kunkfam

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    This is going to be an unfavorable post going the other direction. I do have a huge purse and I do bring regular size candy to the theater in my bag. I purchase drinks and/or popcorn from the theater but I feel the size of candy that they sell is ridiculous and I don't want to attempt to break it into a serving size.
     
  7. swellman

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    In my opinion, with all that's gone on in movie theaters of recent, I don't mind a search policy. In fact, I expect to be searched just about everywhere I go when I carry the D supplies. I have no problem with that. I usually have a canned response in case they use the "No outside food." for our juice (we don't treat lows with candy) and that's "These supplies are for treating a dangerously low blood sugar and every supply in my bag is allowed by the TSA on flights." If I were to get push back from a manager I would ask them if they want the possibility of us having to call 911 because they were inflexible. If that didn't work I would probably tell them to call the police just like your husband. Then I would try to educate the management on the situation. I would be flustered but not really mad. It's understandable that it's confusing to other people that some use food products to treat diabetes.

    EDIT: I purposefully keep the juice right next to the Glucagon kit and I believe that prevents a lot of questions about the juice boxes.
     
  8. virgo39

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    That is actually a lot more than I would carry into a theater to handle diabetes, but I think that each family has, and is entitled to have, a different approach to these things.

    I think the theater has an obligation to reasonably accommodate you, doesn't it? I guess my advice would be to think about what supplies are really needed. If challenged, I think that I might, rather than referencing discrimination at the outset, explain your child has Type 1 and why what you are bringing in is medically necessary. Otherwise, not sure what else I would have done differently, recognizing it is always easy to suggest alternatives in hindsight.
     
  9. hawkeyegirl

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    I do have some sympathy for theater managers, because (and I read this online, so it must be true ;)), they don't really make any money on the tickets they sell. Most of their profit comes from food and drink sales. And of course the food and drink is expensive, so people smuggle their own in all the time. So I have no problem with them searching bags.

    I also think that what your husband had in the bag was overkill as far as low treatment is concerned. What was that, like 200 carbs, lol? The less you make what you are bringing in look like it is a snack for the whole family, the better and more reasonable. I usually throw a juice in my purse and figure that I can always buy a Coke if need be. But he's always high at the movies, so it's not an issue anyway. That all being said, I'd be hot if a theater manager tried to take whatever I bought, and I think your husband handled it well.

    So in summary, next time throw a box of juice in your husband's pocket and call it a day. :)
     
  10. Beach bum

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    Normally, when we are going to a place that has food restrictions, I tend to carry glucose tabs and a tube or two of gel. One, it's less bulky, but two it avoids situations like that. I think your husband did the best he could to put a stop to it.

    Now, was the manager right? No. He should have just said "in the future, our policy is this." I would send a letter to the CEO stating that it could have been handled in a much more delicate way and just explain the reason for carrying in your own food. It's just not that simple when your kid is having a low to find change to put into a soda machine or stand in line for soda/candy.

    Normally, we go to a theater that serves meals, so we are lucky. Otherwise, she tends to run high from that lovely theater popcorn and candy.
     
  11. Charliesmom

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    That is quite a bit of supplies to bring into a theater. Honestly, I would probably question if they were really for treating lows or being brought in to eat during the movie.
     
  12. libbymom

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    Thanks for the responses. It's made me think a little. The only thing son added to his bag for the movie was the vitamin water. I didn't know if there would be anything like that at the movie and I didn't want him to have soda that late at night. But all the other stuff is just what he normally carries in his D bag. A juice box, small bag of Skittles and glucose tabs. Is that really too much?
     
  13. Beach bum

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    I think the vitamin water is what pushed it over the edge. If he was so low that he needed that many carbs, I'd probably be calling it a night.
     
  14. TheTestingMom

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    I carry more than a few different things to bring up a low BG for my son. He's really picky (really really picky) and he can get bullheaded when he is low. Also, some financially can't just run up and buy a soda, not when it costs $20+ just to get in. I wouldn't want to leave my kid while he's having a low to go get it anyway. So I come prepared. That being said I think you handled it fine.
    I'd be sending off a letter too.
     
  15. eloquine

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    I bring juice boxes (several, we had a few accidents where he spilled not one, but two on a restaurant floor...) everywhere, and candies/snacks I measured at home. I need to be able to know exactly how much carbs he is having, for my sanity. He is only 3, so we still can and need to do that.
    I would have been searched without a fight, because that's the new reality in this country, but yeah, your husband did the right thing for the second part.
     
  16. Mish

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    I don't really even think it matters what others think about the amount of supplies your child brings in. We all do things slightly differently, so if that was a comfortable amount to have your child carry, then that's all that matters. :)

    I have stuff in my purse that is there for lows 'just in case', not that we'd ever use it all in one sitting.
     
  17. William

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    On the flipside we always carry with us no carb flavored water (our young son does not drink sodas) and low carb food like some carrots or a few slices of apple to snack on if we are going to be out for awhile, in addition to some juice. We rarely do to movie theaters anymore, just the drive-in a couple times in the summer, but I don't expect most theaters will have low carb alternatives available that are suitable for a snack.

    Rules have exceptions and exceptions need to be made in order to prevent medical emergencies. Theaters that are ignorant to the needs of type 1 pwd need to adjust their policies.
     
  18. valerie k

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    last time we went as a family to the theater, it was a cool 100.00 bill. 50.00 for tickets, 50.00 for snacks.

    none of us would dream of bringing food into a restaurant to eat because we didn't want to pay for their over priced food, why would anybody think it ok to bring in candy/drinks to a theater? You don't want to shell out the $$$ for the total experience, I would suggest not going. Which is what I now don't do, go to theaters as a family. I wait for DVD to come out, rent or buy it and have the total experience of my own snacks and drinks at home. bonus, I can pause for any potty breaks. Try getting anybody at the theater to pause the movie for that.
     
  19. Beach bum

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    It is crazy, but I can see why it's so expensive, because movies are such a competitive business. The only theater we go to is the one that serves meals because the tickets aren't crazy priced and you actually get a decent meal. Otherwise, I prefer to watch movies at home. The last one we went to was "Saving Mr. Banks." The person obviously didn't check to see if it was kid friendly (not a cutesy movie, it was deep and not for little ones). They thought it was ok to let their kid run around and the movie was constantly interrupted by the kid. Manager came in, kid hid, manager left, kid started up again. People were yelling at the parent, manager came back and they left. So that was about 30 minutes of interruptions.
    So, while movies are fun for the kids, I like them at home with my own snacks, low carb drinks and I can have whatever I want to treat lows:)
     
  20. caspi

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    I get that movie theaters make their money off of the food and drink, however I don't think we should be forced to pay in order to treat a low. It would be different if the OP was bringing in a bag of popcorn but it was snacks for lows (with the exception of the vitamin water, which I can see them having an issue with).
     

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