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Health Information For Parents
Most schools are prepared to help their students with diabetes. But parents also should be part of the process. This means meeting with school staff, giving them the information they need, and making sure that your child knows how to manage diabetes away from home.
Your child’s diabetes health care team can help. And school administrators and nurses often have experience in helping kids with diabetes participate safely and successfully at school.
Most of what you use to care for your child at home is needed at school. This includes:
You might put these into packages for teachers, the school nurse, coaches, your child, and others.
At school, kids might need to:
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends giving the school a packet with general diabetes information, including how to recognize and treat hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, as well as the management plan. Also include contact information for you, other caregivers, your child’s doctor, and other members of the diabetes health care team.
To keep the school staff informed, consider reviewing your child’s diabetes management plan with the school annually — or whenever it is updated or changed.
You might also want to meet with school staff, such as the principal, your child’s teachers (including the gym teacher), the school nurse, and any coaches. They will tell you if they need anything else from you.
By law, diabetes is considered a disability. So it is illegal for schools or childcare centers to discriminate against kids who have it.
Any school that receives federal funding or any facility considered open to the public must reasonably accommodate the special needs of children with diabetes. Teachers and school nurses assess kids individually to find the best ways to ensure their education while managing the diabetes.
The school may be required to create a legal document called a 504 plan that describes how it will meet a child’s needs. You might also get an individualized education plan (IEP) that outlines educational goals and how the school will achieve them.
The school needs to meet your child’s needs within the usual school or classroom setting with as little disruption as possible. This helps prevent kids from feeling different from their peers. The school also must meet your child’s needs during activities outside the classroom, such as sports teams or extracurricular clubs.
Some schools have all the staff that’s needed to ensure proper care for kids with diabetes, but others might not. For example, many schools share a nurse with other schools in the district rather than having one available all the time. Be sure that your school addresses how the staff will meet your child’s needs in the classroom and during activities such as field trips.
Your child has a right to private health information, according to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). But to meet a student’s special needs, school officials and the diabetes health care team might need to share medical information.
Ask the diabetes health care team and school officials if they will share information and how to ensure your child’s privacy. Your doctor and the school might need written permission from you to exchange this information. This is important because if a problem happens, the school staff may need to get information about your child’s health quickly.
Parents often feel nervous about sending a child with diabetes off to school. It’s important to educate kids about diabetes without passing along feelings of fear or nervousness. Kids should understand how to monitor and treat the disease based on their age and maturity.
While at school, kids with diabetes should:
Your child should tell you about any issues related to diabetes management at school. Be sure that you ask things are going.
Our Diabetes Center provides information and advice for teens about treating and living with diabetes.
Does your child have type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Learn how to manage the disease and keep your child healthy.
You probably spend more than a third of your waking hours at school. Chances are you’ll need to check your blood sugar levels or give yourself an insulin injection during that time. So what do you do?
Are you on your own at school when you’re dealing with diabetes? Not at all. Your teachers, coaches, school nurse – and even your friends – can help you out.
If you have diabetes, you might think you shouldn’t eat carbohydrates (carbs) at all. But all kids, including kids with diabetes, can and should eat carbs as part of a healthy diet.
Parents of kids with diabetes need to take a few extra steps to keep blood sugar levels under control on sick days.
People with diabetes don’t need to be on strict diets, but do need to pay attention to what they eat and when. Crack open the cookbooks and surf to your favorite recipe website because it’s time to plan meals that you love!
Being sick is no fun for anyone. For people with diabetes, being sick can also affect blood sugar levels.
Keeping blood sugar levels under control can help keep you healthy and prevent health problems from happening down the road. Find out more.
Whether your child is taking insulin or pills (or both) to control diabetes, it’s important to learn how diabetes medicines work.
People who have diabetes may hear or read a lot about controlling, or managing, the condition. But what is diabetes control and why is it so important?
Diabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.
When you have a child with diabetes, you and your family have a lot to learn, but you don’t have to go it alone. Your child’s diabetes health care team can help.
It takes all of your team members â you, your parents, doctors, certified diabetes educators, dietitians, and mental health pros â to help you take care of your diabetes.
If your child has diabetes, you may spend a lot of time thinking about the physical effects. But it’s also important to understand the emotional issues surrounding a diabetes diagnosis.
Taking care of your diabetes includes knowing when to call a doctor and get medical help.
If your child has special needs in the classroom, he or she may be eligible for a government-supported learning plan.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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