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Health & Safety » Diabetes

Diabetes

According to the National Diabetes Education program, diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in school-aged children and affects about 200,000 young people in the United States alone. The American Diabetes Association states that one in 400 to 500 children and adolescents under 20 years of age have type 1 diabetes.

Teach your child to manage his or her diabetes from the first day back at school. You will need to set up a care plan for your child and work with school staff to help your child manage diabetes daily.

You've probably already bought the basic school supplies for sending your child back to school. But if your child has diabetes, you need to make additional preparations.

Staff such as nurses, teachers, and coaches can work with you and your child on managing diabetes. This assistance may include helping your child take medications, check blood sugar levels, choose healthy foods in the cafeteria, and be physically active.

•You will need to meet with staff before school starts or early in the school year to learn how the school helps students care for diabetes and handles any diabetes-related emergencies.
•Work with your child's doctor and school staff to create a Diabetes Medical Management Plan. Having a plan helps your child and school workers manage diabetes in school and during extracurricular activities such as field trips or sports.
•Give the school staff a list of contacts for your child, including physicians and emergency contacts.
•Be sure that you provide the school with all the supplies your child needs to manage their diabetes.

Your child needs access to supplies to manage diabetes and to treat any episodes of high or low blood sugar. Ensure your child wears medical ID jewelry. Help your child create a care package to carry in his or her backpack. Supplies include the following:
•Blood glucose (sugar) meter, testing strips, lancets, and extra batteries for the meter.
•Ketone testing supplies.
•Insulin and syringes/pens.
•Antiseptic wipes.
•Water.
•For children who wear an insulin pump, backup insulin and syringes/pens in case of pump failure,
•All children on insulin need glucose tablets or other fast-acting glucose snacks (a carbohydrate that will raise blood sugar levels relatively quickly when eaten). Here are examples of fast-acting snacks that provide about 10 to 15 grams of carbohydrate: ◦3-5 pieces of hard candy.
◦4-6 ounces of regular (non-diet) soda.
◦4-6 ounces of orange juice.
◦2 tablespoons of raisins.
◦8 ounces of nonfat or low-fat milk.

School staff will have to have diabetic care instructions specific for you student from your physician prior to providing any care more than first aid and emergency care.