Topic Overview

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, if needed. Include information on how to give insulin, 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. Give the staff copies of symptoms of low blood sugar and treating low blood sugar 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. Give the staff copies of symptoms of high blood sugar and treating high blood sugar 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.
  • Physical activity and sports. Include information about when your child's blood sugar should be checked before activity and the desired target range. Provide information about what and how much glucose or sucrose tablets or quick-sugar food to have on hand for your child.
  • 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.

For more information, visit Diabetes Canada's Kids With Diabetes at School webpage at www.diabetes.ca/kidsatschool.

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.

References

Citations

  1. 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.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Stephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology

Current as ofMay 23, 2017