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in school
Tips for teachers
Diabetes
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.,
and Peggy Moreland, R.N.
extra glucose by using the bathroom.
Be patient.
The student with
diabetes may have minor problems
with organization. Both high and
low blood sugar levels may make it
diffcult for the student to concentrate
at times. You may have to repeat
some things, especially if the student
has been to the nurse’s offce during
class time.
Communicate with all
involved. 
Work as a team with
the student with diabetes, his or
her caregivers, the school nurse and
other educators. If there’s a special
school party or occasion where
“treats” will be served, let the family
of the student with diabetes know in
advance, if possible. This will allow
the family to discuss options with
the child so that he or she can make
responsible choices. Often, treats can
be worked into the child’s meal plan.
Learn as much as you
can about diabetes in
children.
Consider completing
a training program to enable you
to perform essential key diabetes
care tasks such as blood glucose
monitoring and insulin and glucagon
administration. Your willingness to
do so will help ensure your student
receives proper care and attains
optimal academic performance.
Remember that every
child with diabetes is
different.
Each child with
diabetes may have different
symptoms of low blood sugar.
Situations that can affect your
student’s blood sugar are insulin,
foods eaten, exercise, illness, stress,
and any changes in routine.
Be discreet.
Don’t draw
unnecessary attention to your
student’s condition. A student with
diabetes may have to eat snacks
periodically in the classroom.
Remember, he or she must eat
whenever they feel low in blood
sugar. This is not the student’s
choice, but a necessity!
Provide inconspicuous
and gentle reminders.
Pay close attention to your student’s
regular snack time. Younger children
may not remember their snack time.
Pass the student a note or work out
a unique password between the two
of you to remind him or her of snack
time.
Don’t “label” students
with diabetes.
Never single
out a child as the “diabetic kid.”
Don’t sympathize;
empathize. Children with diabetes
need understanding, acceptance and
support, but not sympathy.
Be prepared.
Always carry
a quick and portable snack such
as crackers or a small can of juice
when you and your student with
diabetes leave the classroom or the
school grounds. Examples of such
times include fre drills, feld trips and
special presentations and assemblies.
Never leave a child
alone when he or she is
experiencing low blood
sugar.
If your student with
diabetes says that he or she feels
low in blood sugar, give the student
a quick-acting carbohydrate snack
such as fruit juice, regular soda or
glucose tablets. If your student with
diabetes needs to see the school
nurse, always have another person go
with that student.
Allow unrestricted
bathroom breaks.
Let the
child know that it’s okay to go to the
bathroom whenever necessary, and
have a water bottle available for when
his or her blood sugar is high. If his
or her blood sugar is high, the body’s
natural response is to eliminate the
Jan/Feb 2012
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