The back-to-school countdown has begun!
In the midst of buying new notebooks and planning first-day outfits, parents of children with diabetes have the added responsibility of making sure school management plans are in place before the school year begins.
Here are seven ideas for how to get ready before the school bell rings.
- Inform your child’s school. Before your child returns to school, communicate with and inform administrators (school nurse) about the child’s new health requirements.
- Learn about 504 Plans and your state law. If your child attends a public school or private school that receives any federal funding, you have the right to request a 504 Plan to spell out the school’s responsibilities for helping manage your child’s diabetes during the school day. A 504 Plan can cover everything from extra snack times to more time to finish a test when class time is missed to take care of the child’s diabetes.
- Coordinate school diabetes care. Schedule a meeting with the school nurse and administrator to review your child’s DMPP (doctor’s orders).
- Prepare for lows. In addition to collecting meters, test strips, insulin, and other medical supplies to be used at school, put together a number of low-blood-sugar emergency kits containing items such as Transcend Glucose Gels.
- Check-in with your child. How is your child feeling about heading back to school? Build up his or her confidence.
- Introduce the nurse. Have your child meet with teachers and the school nurse at or just before the start of school to get acquainted.
- Listen—and reassure. The start of school “is an emotional time for everyone; it’s hard to let your child go. Anticipate that your child will be nervous. Reassure your child that you’ve met with the school and they can feel safe.”