Diabetes in Children: Care Plan for School or Day Care
Federal laws protect children with diabetes from discrimination in schools and child care settings. Schools and child care centers must provide reasonable help for the special needs of children with diabetes while disrupting the usual routine as little as possible. In addition, children should be allowed to participate in all school activities.1
If your child has diabetes, work with your child care center or school to develop a care plan that meets your child's needs and gives specific instructions for how to handle the following:1
You may hear a care plan called a "504" plan. 504 refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1991, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. These are laws that protect people who have disabilities. It means that schools that have federal funding cannot discriminate against children who have disabilities, and that includes children who have diabetes.1 You can find a Diabetes Medical Management Plan on the American Diabetes Association's website.
You will need to give the staff all of the materials and equipment they need to care for your child, including supplies to do a home blood sugar test, insulin, syringes, glucagon (if it's in the care plan), and materials for testing urine for ketones. And you need to teach the staff how to use these materials. Remind the staff that your child needs access to the materials and equipment at all times, even on a field trip. Now and then, check the expiration dates of supplies your child has at school.
The child care center or school should provide safe storage for your child's medicines. Also, they should provide a private place for your child to receive care, if desired.
The child care center or school should provide an adult staff member and a backup person who are:1
Also, your child should have permission to:
If your child can do a blood sugar test, let the staff know that your child may need help when his or her blood sugar level is low and may need to be reminded to eat or drink something during these times.
A child should never be left alone when his or her blood sugar level is low.
Contact the American Diabetes Association for a sample diabetes care plan and other information for teachers and child care providers.
For older children who take their own insulin to school, check the school rules for kids carrying their own medicine, needles, and blood sugar meters. Many schools do not allow kids to carry any kind of medicine without special permission.
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