Having Juvenile Diabetes and Going to School

The vital step after your child is diagnosed with juvenile diabetes is to develop a support
network in the community. Your child’s school should be at the top of this as a resource
to tap into. Not only is it essential that the teachers at your child’s school know about his
special dietary needs and what to do in an emergency they can provide help in other ways
too.

In addition to good control of blood glucose levels to ensure the current and future well-
being of your child’s health, good control of diabetes is critical to learning. When a child
is experiencing highs or lows in the blood sugar reading this can create disruptions and
make it hard for them to concentrate and learn.

The teachers or other support personnel are going to need instruction for handling your
child’s diabetes and what to do in case of an emergency. For a child with a low blood
sugar it is important that their blood glucose level is checked and that they have
something to eat. For a child with a high blood sugar, their blood glucose will need to be
checked too and a decision has to be made whether or not to give insulin. This is a big
responsibility to hand over to another adult and can be nerve-racking for parents.

An emergency kit should be with your child at all the time with instructions on what to
do to help if something is wrong. Included should be a snack, a food item or glucose
tablet that is fast acting (gets sugar into the system quickly), a list of emergency numbers
to call, and a glucose monitor. A teacher or school nurse should be designated as the
person responsible for your child while at school and they should have a back-up in case
they are not present for a day or more.

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