Taking Control of Blood Sugars at School
Parents of children with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, as well as high school and college students with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, often struggle with control of their Blood Sugars during class-time. Test taking, field trips, unexpected high intensity exercise and holiday treats are just a few of the daily dilemmas that students face.
Here are a few tips that can help children/adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes be successful with diabetes control at school:
S - START OUT RIGHT
- Contact your school nurse or district nurse.
Nurse phone numbers are available on the school district’s websites.
Nurses are available 1-2 weeks before school starts.
- Assume the positive – the school principal, counselors, teachers, secretaries also want your child to be successful at school. They are your support team.
- Verify which school personnel are available to help your children and who will be trained to give glucagon.
C - COMPLETE the FORMS
- Start early and make time to contact the diabetes clinic at 801.213.3599 or by email at email@example.com to request your child’s Diabetes Medical Management Plan. Contact the clinic 3-4 weeks prior to the start of school each year and relay the schools name, schools fax number and your child’s current insulin doses.
H - HELPFUL HINTS about your CHILD
- Provide the school with information that is unique to your child.
- Eating habits – likes and dislikes, food preferences (especially those used for treating lows).
- Information on recognizing and treating signs and symptoms of low or high blood glucose levels
- Special needs.
O - OPTIMIZE CONTROL
- Blood glucose monitoring and carbohydrate counting can be done at school. School lunch information is available from the school district website and the lunch manager of your school. Work with your district/school nurse to outline when testing is to be done and to designate school personnel who will be providing supervision.
- Remember, getting insulin on board at least ten minutes before a meal helps it work best.
O - OPEN UP! COMMUNICATE!
You know your child the best! The information you have about your child’s diabetes is the most important tool you can provide for the school. Be your child’s advocate.
- Provide the school with current information and tools.
L - LEARN TO BE PREPARED
- Provide the appropriate supplies that your child needs to manage his/her diabetes at school:
Food items to treat low blood glucose:
Glucagon Emergency kit
Blood glucose test strips
Insulin pens and pen needles or vial and syringes
Backup supplies for insulin pump
(taken from handout: PCH Diabetes Clinic: “Getting Ready to go back to School”)
School personnel, teachers and professors play an important integral role in the diabetes care and control of blood sugars for their students that have Type 1 Diabetes. The American Diabetes Association has developed a guide for school personnel as well as many other resources for parents and for students with diabetes. Please see their website at www.diabetes.org – Living with diabetes/parents and kids/diabetes care at school.
There are many students with diabetes who are able to maintain optimal blood sugar control while at school. Success comes from planning, communication, and continued support.