A Team Effort
At home, families have the expertise and flexibility to meet the management needs of a child with diabetes. Schools, however, face more challenges in meeting the multiple demands of diabetes management as well as the needs of other students.
A teacher or school nurse, who is responsible for many children may not always be readily available or able to assist a student with diabetes the second they need help. Because an immediate response is sometimes necessary, the diabetes care planning process must involve school staff as well as parents.
Parents can offer expertise about their child’s diabetes management needs, and school staff can offer more information about school resources and limitations, as well as state or district practices and regulations.
Together, with the guidance of health care providers, parents and school can develop the best diabetes care plan for the student.
An effective diabetes management plan at school requires parents, health care providers and school staff to work together to figure out how the diabetes medical management plan prescribed by the health care provider translates into a practical school plan.
Working together to develop a plan for a student’s diabetes care and management at school will help ensure:
- The student’s immediate safety
- The student’s long-term health
- The student’s readiness and capacity to learn, and full participation in education
- The reduced likelihood of a diabetes-related emergency at school
School Nurses Can’t Do It Alone
No one can be in all places at all times. Many parents enlist the help of other family members and even friends to help their child manage his/her diabetes in case they are not around.
School nurses are often pulled to different areas of a school or share time between several schools during the week. In addition to the school nurse, it is important that other school personnel who understand diabetes basics, including how to recognize and treat high and low blood glucose levels, are present.
Time is of the essence during a severe low blood glucose emergency. If the school nurse is the only adult trained in diabetes care tasks, the student’s health could be put in serious danger.