Diabetes in Children: Preparing a Care Plan for School

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Diabetes in Children: Preparing a Care Plan for School

Introduction

To help your child with diabetes have an easier time with school, you need to know the issues your child could face and then plan how to help your child succeed. Remember that your child's experience with diabetes is not the same as another child's experience. A diabetes care plan will help teachers and school staff understand what your child needs to successfully manage diabetes at school. Check if the school will help you and your child manage diabetes.

If the school will work with your child to manage diabetes, it's a good idea to meet with the school staff, including the principal, teachers, coaches, bus driver, school nurse, and lunchroom workers, before your child starts school and at the beginning of each school year. Update the plan each year before school starts, and tell the school staff about any changes to the plan.

Key points

  • The goal of a diabetes care plan for school is to meet your child's daily needs and prepare ahead of time for any problems. This means including all the information that the school staff needs to know to make sure your child's diabetes is under control.
  • A diabetes care plan for school should include medical information as well as other information that the school staff needs to know, including emergency contacts, when to call the parents, and food information.
  • Children with diabetes want to fit in with their classmates as much as possible. A diabetes care plan can also address how to handle special occasions, such as a school party or field trip, so your child won't feel left out.
 

A diabetes care plan is a document that lists all the information that the school staff needs to know to make sure your child's diabetes is under control. The goal of a diabetes care plan for school is to meet your child's daily needs and prepare ahead of time for any problems. The plan includes information on how to handle:

  • Insulin, if needed. Make sure you include information on how to give insulin to your child, how much insulin to give, and how to store the insulin. Your child may get it as a shot, use an insulin pen, or have an insulin pump.
  • Oral medicine. If your child takes pills for diabetes, make sure you include instructions on how, when, and how much medicine your child should take.
  • Meals and snacks.
    • Make sure that your child's teacher and the school staff know that your child has permission to eat a snack anytime he or she needs it. You may want to provide your child's teacher with snacks to give your child when he or she has signs of low blood sugar.
    • Make a list of foods your child can eat, how much, and when. You will also want to have a list of foods that your child can have during special occasions, such as a class party, a school assembly, or an outing.
  • Blood sugar testing. This section of the plan lists how often and when to test your child's blood sugar. For example, your child may need his or her blood sugar tested before lunch and when he or she has symptoms of low blood sugar. The diabetes care plan should also say if an adult needs to test your child's blood sugar or if your child can do it. Younger children will need an adult to test their blood sugar, while older children may be able to test it on their own.
  • Symptoms of low or high blood sugar. Your child's symptoms of low or high blood sugar may be different from those of other children. A change in behaviour is sometimes a symptom of low blood sugar. In this section of the diabetes care plan, talk about your child's symptoms of low or high blood sugar and how to treat it. You can print out the following information to give to your child's teacher and other school staff:
    Click here to view an Actionset. Diabetes in Children: Preventing Low Blood Sugar
    Click here to view an Actionset. Diabetes in Children: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar
    Click here to view an Actionset. Diabetes in Children: Preventing High Blood Sugar
  • Testing ketones. This section of the plan will include information on when and how to test your child's urine for ketones. The school nurse and one or more other school staff members should know how to test your child's urine for ketones and know what to do if the results are not normal.
  • Who to call. Include contact information for parent(s), other caregivers, and the doctor. You will also want to let your child's teachers and school staff know when to call 911 for help in case of an emergency.

Give the school staff the right supplies to care for your child, including:

Make sure the school staff knows how to use and store the supplies you provide. Your child must be able to get to these supplies at all times. You may also need to check the expiration date and replace supplies from time to time. You can print out the following information to give to your child's teacher and other school staff:

Click here to view an Actionset. Diabetes in Children: Giving Insulin Shots to a Child
Preparing a Glucagon Injection
Giving a Glucagon Injection

It's also a good idea to give the school staff some general information about diabetes. This will help them understand the disease, its symptoms, and the treatment. You can use the following for information about diabetes:

Test Your Knowledge

Your child's diabetes care plan should include information about blood sugar testing.

  • True
    This answer is correct.

    Your child's diabetes care plan should include details on when your child's blood sugar needs to be tested. For example, your child may need his or her blood sugar tested before lunch. The diabetes care plan should also say if an adult needs to test your child's blood sugar or if your child can do it.

  • False
    This answer is incorrect.

    Your child's diabetes care plan should include details on when your child's blood sugar needs to be tested. For example, your child may need his or her blood sugar tested before lunch. The diabetes care plan should also say if an adult needs to test your child's blood sugar or if your child can do it.

  •  

It's important for your child's teacher and other school staff to know your child's symptoms of low or high blood sugar.

  • True
    This answer is correct.

    Your child's symptoms of low or high blood sugar may be different from those of other children. Your child's teacher and other school staff need to recognize your child's symptoms of low and high blood sugar so they can treat it right away.

  • False
    This answer is incorrect.

    Your child's symptoms of low or high blood sugar may be different from those of other children. Your child's teacher and other school staff need to recognize your child's symptoms of low and high blood sugar so they can treat it right away.

  •  

Continue to Why?

 

As a parent, you want to know that your child is safe when you aren't with him or her. A diabetes care plan helps guide your child's teacher and other school staff about how to care for your child with diabetes. The plan will help your child keep his or her blood sugar under control so that he or she can focus on school.

Children with diabetes want to fit in with their classmates as much as possible. This includes taking part in class parties, field trips, and assemblies. Planning for these special occasions in a diabetes care plan lets your child take part in these activities and not be left out.

Test Your Knowledge

Children with diabetes cannot take part in certain school activities such as class parties, field trips, and assemblies.

  • True
    This answer is incorrect.

    Children with diabetes want to fit in with their classmates as much as possible. Using a diabetes care plan lets your child take part in school activities.

  • False
    This answer is correct.

    Children with diabetes want to fit in with their classmates as much as possible. Using a diabetes care plan lets your child take part in school activities.

  •  

Continue to How?

 

A diabetes care plan will help your child's teachers and other school staff know when and how to manage your child's diabetes. For example, if your child needs to eat shortly after taking insulin or to have a snack in class, then a teacher or other adult can make sure that this happens. At the same time, the teacher will know not to make your child stand out as "the kid with diabetes." Your child may also feel better knowing that his or her teachers or other school staff can help when needed.

The diabetes plan should also province that your child is allowed to:

  • Use the washroom, eat, and drink when needed.
  • See the school nurse whenever he or she asks.
  • Miss school for medical appointments.

Test Your Knowledge

A diabetes care plan can help your child's teachers know when your child needs to eat or has low blood sugar.

  • True
    This answer is correct.

    A diabetes care plan will help your child's teachers and other school staff know when and how to manage your child's diabetes. This includes information on when your child needs to eat and his or her symptoms of low blood sugar.

  • False
    This answer is incorrect.

    A diabetes care plan will help your child's teachers and other school staff know when and how to manage your child's diabetes. This includes information on when your child needs to eat and his or her symptoms of low blood sugar.

  •  

Continue to Where?

 

Now that you have read this information, you are ready to make a diabetes care plan for school. You can also see a medical management plan and a diabetes care plan in the "Kids With Diabetes in Your Care" booklet at the Canadian Diabetes Association website: www.diabetes.ca

Talk to your child's doctor

Write out a diabetes care plan, and go over it with your child's doctor. He or she may have ideas to include in the plan. If you have questions about this information, print it out and take it with you. You may want to mark areas or make notes in the margins where you have questions.

For more information on making a diabetes care plan for school, visit the Canadian Diabetes Association (ADA) website, www.diabetes.ca, and search for "Kids With Diabetes in Your Care."

Organizations

Canadian Diabetes Association
National Life Building
1400-522 University Avenue
Toronto, ON  M5G 2R5
Phone: (416) 363-0177
1-800-BANTING (1-800-226-8464)
Fax: (416) 408-7117
Email: info@diabetes.ca
Web Address: http://www.diabetes.ca
 

The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) is devoted to meeting the needs of people with diabetes in Canada. This organization provides general information about diabetes and its care. It organizes summer camps for young people with diabetes and conducts educational seminars to help people manage their diabetes. The CDA also sells a range of products, including cookbooks, in its stores.


Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Canada
7100 Woodbine Avenue
Suite 311
Markham, ON  L3R 5J2
Phone: 1-877-CURE-533 (1-877-287-3533) toll-free
(905) 944-8700
Fax: (905) 944-0800
Email: general@jdrf.ca
Web Address: www.jdrf.ca
 

The mission of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Canada is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through research. This organization publishes a wide variety of booklets on complications and treatments of diabetes. The organization's main focus is on research for the prevention and treatment of type 1 diabetes.


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Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last Revised January 13, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.