Effective School-based Diabetes Management Requires 3 Things
1. Basic diabetes training for all staff.
All school staff members who have responsibility for a child with diabetes should receive training that provides a basic understanding of the disease and the child’s needs, how to identify medical emergencies, and which school staff members to contact with questions or in case of an emergency.
2. Shared responsibilities for care, with leadership by school nurse.
The school nurse holds the primary role of coordinating, monitoring, and supervising the care of a student with diabetes. However, in addition to any full- or part-time school nurse, a small group of school staff members should receive training from a qualified health care professional in routine and emergency diabetes care, so that a staff member is always available for:
- younger or less experienced students who require assistance with their diabetes management (e.g., administering insulin, checking their blood sugar, choosing appropriate food), and
- all children with diabetes in case of an emergency (including administration of glucagon).
These staff members should be school personnel who have volunteered to do these tasks and do not need to be health care professionals.
3. Self management is allowed in all school settings for students with capacity.
Children possessing the necessary skills and maturity to do so should be permitted to self-manage their disease in the classroom or wherever they are in conjunction with a school-related activity. Such self-management should include monitoring blood sugar and responding to blood sugar levels with needed food and medication while utilizing appropriate safety protocols.
These principles have been endorsed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists, American Diabetes Association, Children with Diabetes, Disability Rights Education Defense Fund, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society, Pediatric Endocrine Society, and The Endocrine Society.