How to Prepare the School and What to Expect?

 

  • School staff will need to be informed about diabetes and what is involved in managing it daily. The school may never before have had a pupil with diabetes so there is a lot they will need to know. Even if they are familiar with diabetes and your child they will still need an update after the summer as things may have changed. This is especially important if the child is moving on to a new class teacher.

 

  • Parents should arrange a meeting with the class teacher, principal and SNA (if applicable) to explain diabetes and its daily management. It is important to agree a written personal plan for diabetes care during school hours in consultation with your child’s diabetes team. It should outline when to test glucose levels, how to recognise and treat a low blood glucose level (hypo), how to recognise and treat a high blood glucose level (hyper), supervision that is required during snack/lunchtime, the plan for insulin administration and in what situations should parents be contacted.

 

  • Ensure your child’s insulin and glucose meter is labelled with their full name. Ensure insulin and all necessary equipment is within the expiry date and ensure that your child has a hypo remedy with them each day.
  • Provide a sharps disposal container to the school and replace it when full.

 

  • Provide a pack for the school with supplies such as a blood glucose meter, strips, lancets, ketone testing strips, insulin, glucagon hypokit, water wipes for cleaning fingers, snacks and drinks that can be used to treat a hypo. Restock as required and ensure everything is in date.

 

  • Provide contact details for you and other carers in case of emergency. Also provide contact details of the diabetes team.

 

  • Ensure good communication between home and school i.e. a notebook which documents food eaten, activity done, episodes of high/low blood glucose and how they were treated. This can then also be used at home so that you can inform school of changes or relevant information that may affect diabetes management during that school day.

 

  • If your child takes part in a lot of activities or sports after school, remember to include an extra sandwich or snack on those days. You may need to discuss this further with your dietitian. Ensure they have some quick-acting carbohydrate to hand in case of a hypo. It is also a good idea to leave an emergency pack with the teacher containing a blood glucose monitor and glucose tablets, a sweet drink and snacks.

 

  • The best way to ensure that school is a happy and safe place for your child with diabetes is by talking to the relevant parties and preventing problems before they arise. The more the school staff know and understand about diabetes, the less likely it is that fear will prevent the right response and misunderstandings are less likely if there is regular communication between school and home.

 

The school should provide:

  • Immediate access to treatment of a low blood glucose when needed.
  • Some place in school where your child can have privacy when testing their blood glucose or administering insulin (if they wish), and where they can store their diabetes equipment.
  • A named person to remind young children to finish their snacks and lunch and observe that they are doing so.
  • Permission for your child to miss school, without consequences, for medical appointments.
  • Opportunity to meet with parents so they can be kept informed of changes to your child’s diabetes care and work with parents updating the personal plan for diabetes care in school.
  • Adopt a healthy eating policy in school.
  • Information for parents in advance when there are games, PE, sports days on in school as they will need to plan for these events and provide the child with extra food or snacks.

 

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