How can I help school staff care for my child with diabetes?

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Many schools have little experience caring for a student with diabetes and may not know what is involved in diabetes management. It will take some time for the school to get used to caring for your child, just as it took some time for you and your family.

Before sending your child back to school, notify the school, especially the principal, school nurse and teacher(s) that your child has diabetes. Work with a diabetes educator to train and prepare them for what's involved in diabetes management to ensure a safe learning environment for your child.

Since your child spends most of the day at school, your child's school nurse is a member of your diabetes care team (D-team). Work with the school nurse and principal to make sure a trained adult is available to care for your child when the school nurse is not available to help. If your school does not have a school nurse, call the school district to find out how to reach the appropriate person for coordinating your child's care.

You can also be proactive and resourceful in the following ways:

  • Share helpful information about diabetes with school personnel.
  • Link your school nurse to a diabetes educator who can help to train and educate teachers and other school personnel about diabetes.
  • Discuss the Diabetes Medical Management Plan provided by your child's health care provider and work together to develop a plan for school including blood glucose checks, insulin administration, snacks and meals, and emergency situations or when glucagon is needed
  • Describe your child's usual symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Provide updated phone numbers for your home, work and cell. Develop a plan for when you should be called.
  • Talk about what to do in an emergency. Make sure a school nurse and other trained school staff members know when and how to administer glucagon.
  • Provide diabetes management materials and equipment that should be kept at school.
  • Share some of the American Diabetes Association's classroom lesson plans with teachers who want to help students understand more about diabetes.

Continue Learning about Diabetes

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.
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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.