5 ways to support your school-going child with diabetes

If you are a parent who has a child with diabetes, you know that this condition has to be managed 24/7. Children play and forget to check sugar levels, they are tempted to eat something they shouldn’t in social situations and they are in fact, just kids. So even if they are educated and trained around their condition and managing it, they will always need the support of the adults around them.

These tips can help you make sure that they have the support they need:

1. Inform teachers and assistants of your child’s condition   
At school, teachers and assistants should be made aware of your child’s medical condition. Sit with them, answer all their questions, make sure they know what the warning signs of a high or low blood glucose level are and what the steps are that they should take when your child needs help. 

2. Explain why it is so important to look after the condition
Not everyone knows how serious diabetes can be and that it can cause serious harm to other organs if not looked after. Once you explain what could happen and why it is important to manage it properly, they will most likely be on board with the management plan.  

3. Create a document with step-by-step instructions that they can follow for different scenarios
Make sure this document is short, to the point and easy to read and understand. Go through the document with the teachers and assistants and leave a few copies in their possession. 

4. Empower extra-mural activity instructors
If your child has any extra-murals, make sure that the person in charge knows about the condition and the treatment and will be able to help or support your child. Exercise can have an effect on the blood glucose levels, so sports coaches should know which warning signs to look out for and when to give your child a break to eat something. They should also carry medicine and/or a source of emergency glucose. 

4. Inform aftercare personnel of the condition    
The same goes for aftercare personnel or when your child goes on a school outing. Make sure to always educate whoever is in charge, to pack the right snacks and medicine if necessary. 

5. Talk to your child’s friends about it    
Talk to your child’s friends so that they won’t be scared, but equipped to also help or at least call for help when it is needed. There are some great videos on Youtube which explain the condition in a way that will help children understand it better. 

6. Pack the right snacks     
During exam time make sure that your child gets the necessary snack or medicine intake breaks. There are formal accommodations for which you can apply to allow for this. 

8. Children with diabetes might need a bathroom break more often which should be organised with teachers. 

9. Get your child a medical bracelet    
Your child should wear a medical bracelet indicating the specific type of diabetes. An emergency contact number and information about medication on the bracelet can be very helpful. 

10. Make sure there is a source of emergency glucose in your child’s school bag and classroom. 

Diabetes is a serious condition and can affect scholastic performance severely if not managed properly. Making others understand this and support your child is your job, however hard. Just know that you are a great parent for doing so!