Back to School: ABCs of Diabetes

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Stressed about the new school year? Don't be!

Sending children with diabetes back to school can be as simple as ABC. With a little bit of planning and a lot of communication, your little one can safely enjoy the school year.

Assemble diabetes supplies

Low Box

A "Low Box" is a container of diabetes supplies and instructions to help bring your child's blood glucose levels into range. 

Create and deliver a kit to your child's classroom and other places frequently visited during the school day (i.e., library, gymnasium).

Use a pencil box or similarly sized container and label appropriately ("Mary Elizabeth's Low Box"). Kits should include everything needed to treat low blood sugar, plus general diabetes backup supplies:

Description of your child's hypoglycemia symptoms ("Mary Elizabeth gets pale and starts to shake.")

Clear & concise instructions for how to test and treat low

Instructions for emergency situations ("If Mary Elizabeth loses consciousness, call 911 and alert the nurse to get an injection.")

 One Drop | Chrome (or other meter) & test strips

Glucose tablets

Juice boxes (≥15 carbs) & snacks (granola bars, crackers)

Emergency glucagon

School Nurse Supplies

In addition to the supplies listed above, the school nurse should be equipped with:
  • Refrigerated insulin (short + long-acting) & syringes
  • Insulin pump supplies (infusion sets, alcohol pads, etc.)
  • Extra test strips & lancets
  • Emergency glucagon

Mobile Monitoring

Make sure your child pairs their One Drop | Chrome and One Drop | Mobile app to track their BG.

Download the app on your phone and use their account login to monitor their highs and lows throughout the school day.

Build your DMMP

Work with your doctor to build a Diabetes Medical Management Program (DMMP) that details your child's diabetes management and treatment.

This document should be reviewed by any staff who may be responsible for your child during or after the school day.

According to the CDC, your DMMP should include:

 Target blood sugar range

 Your child's diabetes competency (Do they need help checking their blood sugar?)

 Your child's specific hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) symptoms

 How to treat hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia

 Insulin and other medication used

 Meal and snack plans, including for special events

 How to manage physical activity/sports

The DMMP is specific to your child's daily needs and routines. These things change!

Make sure you update your DMMP each year, or when treatment changes. Download a sample DMMP here.

Create your 504 plan

A 504 plan safeguards your child from discrimination on the basis of their diabetes (as stated in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and outlines steps your school will take to keep your child medically safe. All plans should:
  • Specify services and modifications needed by students with diabetes
  • Require school staff to recognize hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and respond in a way that follows your child's DMMP
  • Be individualized to the specific needs, abilities, and medical condition of your child

You can down a sample 504 Plan here.

Available in Spanish here.

Your school may prefer to use their own 504 Plan form. That's fine! Just make sure it contains appropriate language.

The content you include to state your child's diabetes care needs is what matters.

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Andrea Lagotte
Aug 05, 2019

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