School is an exciting adventure for most kids. They look forward to wearing their new back to school clothes, new school supplies and meeting new friends. However if your child is diabetic there are concerns about their health during the school day. Sending your diabetic child off to school can be a huge burden of concern for parents, especially when the child is newly diagnosed. Below is a run down of items that you should have in place by the first day of school or at the very latest by the first week that school starts.
Be sure to check local county school calendars to get accurate information on when school starts in metro Atlanta. This year there is a wide variety of start times for each county.
Be sure that you meet with all your child’s teachers as soon as possible. Some schools have teacher prep days even before school officially opens. Try to see if you can meet with them before the school begins. They will have more time to sit down with you and spend the time to go over the special needs of your child.
Back to school list
Here is a checklist of items and procedures that you should have in place:
- Medical Forms should all be signed by your child’s doctor and should include any prescription drugs and dosages of insulin needed by your child during the school hours. Check with you doctor to make sure that you have the proper medical forms for your county. The doctor you visit might be in a different county than where your child is attending so be sure to cover this with your doctor.
- Medical kit sent with your child or brought in for your child the first day of school and brought to the school clinic. This kit should include blood glucose meter, blood glucose strips, glucagon injection, glucose tablets. any insulin cartridges, pen needle tips.
- 504 Plan should be typed up and signed and dated by your doctor. Form should contain an area for the principal, and clinic nurse to also sign off on. The following link has a number of sample 504 plans that you can use to put together this document. 504 Plans are federal documents and therefore identical for all Atlanta schools.
- Emergency Contact List – Be sure to include a full list of emergency contacts for the school to use. Include all information regarding parents, guardians and doctors. Be sure you order them in importance.
- If you don’t have a formal sit down regarding the 504 plan with teachers, then plan to meet with each teacher to inform them of your child’s diabetic needs. Make sure the teachers have a copy of the 504 plan. Be sure to go over any physical changes that your child might display regarding high or low blood sugars so that they can keep an eye on your child during class time.
- Provide snacks and juices, whether at the central clinic of your child’s school or at the individual classes. Be sure that your child has immediate access to high carb juices or snacks should he experience a low during the time that he is in the class.
Also make sure that your child has glucose tablets at all times in their backpack. This will come in handy when riding on the school bus where juice boxes or snacks cannot be stored.
After about a week of school, give a courtesy call to the school and talk with the counselor to follow up on any issues or situations that may have come up that you need to address.
With this list, you should be well on the way to having a great school year with your child with minimal interruptions.