Diabetes in Children: Care Plan for School or Daycare
British Columbia Specific Information
Parents and schools are encouraged to work together when making provisions for, or accommodating, students with diabetes; however this is not a requirement. If parents and the school administrators can come to an agreement, then school personnel may take responsibility for helping students with diabetes during the school day. Visit Government of British Columbia – Diabetes for information on the support available at schools.
The Canadian Diabetes Association is a charitable association that provides information and support to all Canadians. They recommend that schools should allow students to eat at regular intervals, should monitor students experiencing hypoglycemia, and should know what to do during a hypoglycemic emergency. Medical support such as checking blood glucose levels, testing urine or administering insulin should not be expected unless agreed to by parents and the school administration. For more information, visit the Canadian Diabetes Association – Kids with Diabetes at School web page.
You may also call 8-1-1 to speak to a registered dietitian, Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Email a HealthLinkBC Dietitian, or review our Healthy Eating – Diabetes and Hypoglycemia information.
If your child has diabetes, work with your child care centre or school to build a care plan that meets your child's needs and gives specific instructions for how to handle the following:
- Blood sugar testing. Include how often and in what situations your child's blood sugar needs testing. For example, your child may need routine testing before lunch and special testing if he or she appears to have low blood sugar.
- Insulin injections, if needed. Include information on how to give an insulin injection, how much medicine to give, and how to store insulin.
- Meals and snacks. Make a list of foods that your child can eat, how much, and when. Talk with the staff about what to do when there are parties at the facility.
- Symptoms of and treatment for low blood sugar. Use the information found under Dealing with low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) emergencies for people taking insulin in the Home Treatment section of this topic. Give the staff copies of this information for later reference. And tell them how your child acts when his or her blood sugar level is low.
- Symptoms of and treatment for high blood sugar. Use the information found under Dealing with high blood sugar level (hyperglycemia) emergencies in the Home Treatment section of this topic. Give the staff copies of the information for later reference. And tell them how your child acts when his or her blood sugar level is high.
- Testing ketones . Include instructions for when and how to test your child for ketones and what to do if ketones are present.
- Contact persons. Include how to contact both parents or another adult who cares for the child as well as the name and phone number of the child's doctor.
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 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 centre 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 centre or school should provide an adult staff member and a backup person who are:footnote 1
- Able to test your child's urine or blood for ketones and know what to do if the results are not normal.
- Trained to give insulin and glucagon, if needed.
- Able to test your child's urine for blood or ketones and know what to do if the results are not normal.
- Aware of your child's meal and snack schedule and can remind your child when it is time to eat again.
Also, your child should have permission to:
- Eat a snack anywhere, including the classroom and school bus. Make sure this is in the diabetes care plan.
- Use the washroom and drink liquids as needed.
- Call a parent or caregiver whenever he or she asks.
- Miss school (without consequences) for medical appointments.
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.
Visit the Canadian Diabetes Association webpage: Kids with Diabetes in Your Care: Resource Kit at www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/kids-teens-diabetes/kids-with-diabetes-in-your-care-resource-kit for more 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 meter. Many schools do not allow kids to carry any kind of medicine without special permission.
- American Diabetes Association (2012). Diabetes care in the school and day care setting. Diabetes Care, 35(Suppl 1): S76–S80.
Other Works Consulted
- Canadian Diabetes Association (2012). Kids with diabetes in your care. Canadian Diabetes Association. https://www.diabetes.ca/CDA/media/documents/diabetes-and-you/healthy-living-resources/kids-with-diabetes-in-your-care-booklet-2012.pdf. Accessed May 23, 2014.
- Siminerio LM, et al. (2014). Care of young children with diabetes in the child care setting: A position statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care, 37(10): 2834–2842. DOI: 10.2337/dc14-1676. Accessed October 9. 2014.
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Stephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
Current as ofMay 22, 2015
Current as of: May 22, 2015
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