Create a back-to-school checklist.
Bookbags, folders, calculators and summer reading assignments: For kids with diabetes and their parents, these typical preparations are just the beginning. By now, you’ve probably already met with your child’s diabetes care provider and school personnel, but there are other important steps you can take to make sure your child stays safe at school:
Make sure you have a current Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP) or Individual School Health Plan (ISHP).
Work with your diabetes care provider to create this plan that spells out your child’s school diabetes care regimen. Some questions to consider: What are the child’s typical symptoms of hypoglycemia? What snacks does he or she use to treat it? Can the child give his or her own injections?
Write up a 504 Plan or Individualized Education Program (IEP).
These documents take the information in the DMMP and explain the school’s specific responsibilities. They are developed to protect your child’s rights under relevant federal laws. One element the plan addresses is who else should be trained to provide diabetes care tasks for your child when the school nurse is not available, e.g., the school bus driver, the teacher and anyone responsible at after-school activities or field trips. View a sample plan.
Help the student with diabetes succeed: A Guide for School Personnel.
Don't forget the lows.
Be sure to have a “low box” containing snacks and glucagon with your child, in the classroom and in the nurse’s office, based on what you’ve outlined in your care plan. Provide your child with sources of glucose (such as tabs or gels) with which he or she is comfortable.
Build up your child's confidence.
Giving kids a little more independence at home—like teaching them to check their own blood glucose if they’re ready for it—will give them the confidence that they can take care of themselves when you’re not with them.
Listen and reassure.
The start of school is an emotional time for everyone; it’s hard to let your child go. Anticipate that your child will be nervous. Reassure your child that you’ve met with the school staff, and he or she can feel safe.