How to Protect Diabetic Children at School
If your kid has diabetes, getting them their pencils, notebooks and school clothes is not enough. Getting ready for school involves making sure that your child is protected from the adverse consequences of diabetes. Managing this disease takes up every hour of the day so you will need to make sure that while you’re not with your child at school he or she will get the help he or she needs to keep his or her blood glucose levels in check. This will involve working closely with school officials and the school doctor or nurse so that they know about your child’s special needs and can do everything in their power to help.
Any parent of a diabetic child should be familiar with the anti-discrimination laws, both federal and at the state level. Schedule a meeting with the school’s principal or guidance counselor, basically the person that administrates the schools compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Make sure that you are perfectly clear on how the law applies to your kid’s needs.
Schedule a meeting with the school nurse. She is in charge of your child’s health care while he or she is on the school property and of making sure that teachers and other personnel have the appropriate training in case your child needs assistance. Talk with the nurse to find out what you can do to help and if your school doesn’t have a full time nurse talk to the principal to find out who is charged with making sure your child gets the care he or she needs.
Write everything! This will make sure that people at the school know exactly what needs to be done for your child. The most important document you will need to write down is a detailed plan for managing diabetes provided by your doctor. This plan should have the procedures and scheduling for monitoring blood sugar, any medication that the child needs to take, what should be done depending on the reading each time blood glucose is monitored, what to do in case of an emergency, etc. It should also include what things the child can do on his or her own and which he or she will need help with. The other document that you will need to write is a document stating the exact details about each aspect of diabetes care, depending on what laws are applicable. This document should describe exactly what each staff member in charge of your child should do for every situation you can think of. Update this document every year. Every single person that is in a position of authority or in charge of your child should be able to recognize warning signs of abnormal blood sugar levels and to know the contact details in case help is needed. Apart from the nurse, other school workers should know basic diabetic procedures, such as using a blood glucose monitor and injecting glucagon, or insulin in case this is needed.
Provide the school nurse, and the personnel that are responsible for your child with the equipment they need. This means basic equipment like blood glucose monitoring equipment, insulin or glucagon injections, glucose tablets, etc.
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