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Diabetes in Children: Care Plan for School or Day Care

Getting Started

A diabetes care plan lists all the information that the school staff needs to manage your child's diabetes. Here is some important information to put in the plan.

  • Include information about insulin or other medicines, if needed.
    • Provide directions on how to give insulin to your child (for example, with an insulin pen), how much insulin to give, and how to store the insulin.
    • If your child takes other medicine for diabetes, make sure to include instructions on how, when, and how much medicine your child should take.
  • Provide information about food.
    • Make a list of foods your child can eat, how much, and when. List foods that your child can have during special occasions, such as a class party or field trip. Include information about insulin, if needed, for special-occasion foods.
    • Be sure your child's teacher and the school staff know that your child has permission to eat a snack anytime he or she needs it. You may want to provide your child's teacher with quick-sugar foods, such as hard candy or fruit juice. The teacher can give it to your child when your child has signs of low blood sugar.
  • State how often and when to test your child's blood sugar.

    For example, your child may need his or her blood sugar tested before lunch and when he or she has symptoms of low blood sugar. The diabetes care plan should also say if an adult needs to test your child's blood sugar or if your child can do it.

  • List the symptoms of low or high blood sugar.

    Your child's symptoms may be different from those of other children. Describe your child's symptoms of low or high blood sugar and how to treat them.

  • Include when and how to test your child for ketones.

    The school nurse and one or more other school staff members should know how to test your child for ketones and know what to do if the results aren't normal.

  • Include other important instructions.

    The diabetes plan should also state that your child is allowed to:

    • Eat, drink, and use the restroom when needed.
    • See the school nurse whenever he or she asks.
    • Miss school for medical appointments.
  • Include contact information.

    List parent(s), other caregivers, and your child's doctor. You will also want to let school staff know when to call 911 for help in case of an emergency.

Along with the plan, give the school staff the right supplies to care for your child. These include:

  • A home blood sugar test.
  • Insulin and syringes.
  • Foods that raise blood sugar very fast, such as glucose tablets or juice.
  • Glucagon (if it's in the plan).
  • Materials to test for ketones.

For older children who take insulin to school, check with the school. It may have rules about students carrying their own medicines, needles, and blood sugar meters. Many schools require students to get special permission or to keep their supplies at the school.

Credits

Current as of: April 13, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Stephen LaFranchi MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology

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