The schools are about to reopen and children with Type 1 diabetes taking care at school are very important. The following are a few ways in which diabetes can be managed in schools.
Equipping the concerned school authorities with full details in case of an emergency
The most recent information regarding the child, the phone numbers to be contacted in case of emergency, the details of illness etc should be provided to the school authorities. Detailed information about the child’s diabetes care provider also should be included in this information. It is important that each number is well reachable so that the required person can be reached in a timely manner. The information should constantly be reviewed and updated, especially before activities such as field trips and other school activities. The information should be shared with all the faculty accompanying the children on these trips.
Timely monitoring of blood glucose at school
The child’s blood sugar levels should be regularly monitored and the reports shared with the school, authorities. Other details such as the type of blood glucose meter, test strips and lancets as well as the frequency of blood glucose monitoring should be shared with the institution. The symptoms of hypoglycemia, as well as hyperglycemia as experienced by the child, should be shared with the school authorities. Knowledge about workings and accessing data of a CGM or any other device that the child uses should be shared with the schools. This helps in decision making and getting help as quickly as possible.
Treating hypoglycemia as well as hyperglycemia
Addressing a blood glucose level that is either too low or too high should be discussed with the school. Details about treatment for hypoglycemia and your child’s usual symptoms of hypoglycemia are essential. Glucose tablets which are the generally preferred treatment for hypoglycemia or other such snacks should always be available and be kept in the child’s backpack. They should be directed to reach out for medical help in case of severe hypoglycemia. Additionally, there should also be a discussion of the symptoms that the child experiences during hyperglycemia as well as how to manage hyperglycemia with extra doses of insulin if required.
Details of diabetes medications
The details about prescribed insulin levels for the child should be shared with the school. The details about the dose changes in insulin should also be shared with the school. Since insulin is an integral part of Type 1 diabetes management in children, the staff should be aware of the specifics of the type of insulin and the frequency of the dose. The details of the device like syringe, pen, or pump as well as the way to administer it should also be mentioned. The dose amounts of insulin required should be clearly communicated. The approval required for the changes in these doses should also be made clear.
Additional meetings with teachers, principals, school counselors, or other school staff may be required during the school year. Constant communication and adequate planning can help manage diabetes better as well as help the child succeed in school.
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