How should I prepare the teachers of my child with diabetes?

Mr. Eliot LeBow, CDE, LCSW
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

A big part of creating a safe environment for your child at school requires constant communication between you the concerned parent and the faculty at school including the teachers, nurse, school counselor, school psychologist, and administration at all levels.

Most school systems and states have systems in place help special needs children assimilate into school. You need to know about legislation 504, designed to help children who are not special education but have other physical issues that need to be addressed. 

It will be necessary to develop and implement an individualized care plan, which includes training school staff as to your child’s specific needs while under their care. The treatment plan should support your child in self-care and management of their diabetes that has been recommended by their endocrinologist based off their appropriate age abilities.

It is important to include a written treatment plan of your child’s diabetic needs and help the school understand their role in continuing the work you and your child do at home. The treatment plan should be made in conjunction with ALL school staff that will have daily involvement in your child’s education. 

At a conference with all school staff members that will come in contact with your child, you should discuss the following: 

An overview of Type 1 Diabetes and its management, Roles and responsibilities of staff members, Identify staff in the school who will serve as resources for others, Determine the hierarchy of personnel expected to respond to emergency situations, Determine the location of food kits, Glucagon and other supplies in the school building, Determine where the plan will be kept and how individual components will be shared with appropriate staff, How training for staff with specific responsibilities will be done, What is an emergency and what to do?

The School Nurse, using information gathered at the planning meeting, needs to prepare a written plan. Key staff and the child’s family must agree to the plan. The plan may be incorporated into a “504” plan if the child’s needs will be covered by this legislation. All children attending public school and/or private school is partly funded under the 504 legislation. 

The school nurse is responsible for arranging training for all school staff. The nurse needs to do the training with the assistance of the child’s parents and/or families health care team. 

Prepare the school staff if your child has diabetes:

1. Make sure your doctor completes and signs the Medical Authorization Form before you leave the hospital or clinic. This form allows your child to carry and receive medication at school. Note that different school districts have different forms that you may also need to complete in the coming weeks.

2. Contact your school or district nurse. (The school secretary can help you contact the nurse.) Discuss diabetes with the school nurse. The nurse can give you any additional forms and make sure that you have the support you need for your child's daily diabetes care.

3. Make an appointment with your teacher, coach, and school counselor to discuss your child's diabetes care at school and after school. Give each a packet that includes:
  • Medical Authorization Form, teacher information about diabetes, Instructions for low blood glucose, Glucagon sheet
  • Glucose gel or tablets
  • Glucagon kit

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.