Sending your child to school with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes can be scary for many parents. Concerns about your child having lows, getting the correct amount of insulin and missing class may be top of mind. One way to ease those concerns is to develop a good working relationship with the school nurse. (If your school doesn’t have a dedicated nurse, your contact will be another staff member.) What are some things you can do to help create a good partnership?
Help Educate – Just because someone is a nurse, does not mean that they have had exposure to type 1 diabetes. Be open to sharing what you know about type 1 diabetes and how it affects your child. If your child is newly diagnosed and you don’t feel you know enough about diabetes, work with your health care team who may be able to recommend a Certified Diabetes Educator to meet with the nurse.
Schedule a Meeting– Your child’s diabetes care is constantly changing. Meet with the school nurse before the start of the school year to create a management plan. Also, bring a supply kit to leave at school that includes items such as testing supplies, insulin, snacks, and glucose tablets.
Create a Communication Plan – You may need to be in constant communication with the nurse, particularly at the beginning of the school year or if you’re child has been recently diagnosed. Together, figure out the best way for the nurse to let you know what’s happening during the day. Will she text or call? Will she send home a blood glucose log? Will you only talk if there is an issue? Figure out a plan that works for both of you.
Be a Great Team Player – Find ways to make the nurse’s job a little easier. If you are packing lunch, include the carb counts for the food. If your child had lows all night, let the nurse know so she can be prepared for a possible rocky day.
Remember that the nurse is your partner. Creating a good relationship will only help to make diabetes management run smoothly and keep your child safe at school.
This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.
Working with Your Child’s School
A School Nurse Shares What Matters in T1D Care – Beyond Type 1
School Nurses Reveal: What Our Favorite D-Parents Do – T1 Everyday Magic
Management of Children with Diabetes in the School Setting AADE Position Statement — AADE
Diabetes Care in the School and Day Care Setting — NIDDK