At the beginning of every school year, most parents are focused on buying their children clothes, backpacks and school supplies. But for the parent of a child with diabetes, there is much more to be done to safeguard their health and well-being.
Speak to the school early and often. Make sure everyone is on the same page about what your child needs and when they need it. Open communication is pivotal to your child’s success.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandates that schools provide accommodations to children with certain disabilities. Developing and filing a 504 plan starts the process for your child obtaining the accommodations they need.
Complete and file a Diabetes Medication Administration Form (DMAF). This document contains medical information such as your child’s target blood sugar levels, insulin-to-carb ratios and symptoms of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. It also allows the school to check your child’s blood sugar levels and administer medicine when required.
Parents can make changes to the DMAF as necessary, in consultation with the child’s healthcare provider and the school nurse. Regardless, the DMAF should be updated annually to ensure all current information is accurate.
Finally, be sure to provide the school with all supplies, medications and other items required to safeguard your child’s health and act if an emergency occurs. This includes ketone strips, whatever is required to check the child’s blood sugar levels, extra insulin and a glucagon kit. This will ensure that the school has everything they need, when your child needs it.