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Schools have a legal responsibility to provide adequate supervision and a safe environment for all children. When there is a student with type 1 diabetes all school staff (teachers and office staff) need to know enough about diabetes to ensure the student’s safety. The Diabetes Information Pack for schools includes a management plan incorporating medical recommendations that the parents and school can tailor to the student’s needs.
Some students may need to give an injection at school or may be on an insulin pump. Members of staff are not expected to give insulin injections or adjust pump settings, however, may need to provide privacy for the student to give their injection. This is usually in the school office or sick bay. Most schools prefer the pen or syringe to be left in a secure place rather than allowing the student to carry sharps with them around the school, although in some schools this is allowed. It is important for the student to be careful when carrying a syringe or pen and not to leave any sharps lying around. It is also important to eat something straightaway following the insulin injection.
Testing at school
Your son’s diabetes educator will tell you whether or not he needs to test his blood glucose level (BGL) at school. If a test is needed it is good if he can test quietly in class. This is better than testing at the office or sick bay especially if he thinks he is low before leaving the classroom. Your son’s BGL might drop even lower on the walk to the office and his hypo will be harder to treat. Testing in the classroom also helps his classmates to better understand diabetes.
It is best for you as a parent to discuss your son’s diabetes management with the school so that any anxiety on either side is minimised. A diabetes educator may be able to speak to the teachers about management of diabetes in the school setting.
For more information click on the link to the Diabetes Information for Schools and the play and learn activity Hypos at School under fun stuff in the KidsZone.