Taking Diabetes to School
A new school year has begun! Read these 6 tips from Timika Chambers, DCES (CDE) to prepare your diabetes management while you learn.
School is in session for children, teenagers, and many adults. Returning to school can be overwhelming for many people with diabetes (PWD) due to changes in schedules and routines set over the summer break. PWD must have all the tools (working blood sugar meter, glucose strips, lancet devices and needles, action plan, treatment for low blood sugar, a completed physical form with limitations/restrictions, and others) to manage diabetes.
Returning to school is a great reminder of getting an annual checkup to make sure PWD have everything they need to help increase blood sugar management success and decrease short and long-term diabetes-related complications. If you have not scheduled your annual checkup, please do so. With the necessary information, resources, and supplies you can worry less about your health and focus on your education. You are not alone in managing the diagnosis of diabetes.
6 Tips to Help PWD Maximize Back-to-School Prep
Check with your school/organization to see if you need to complete specific paperwork for the diagnosis of diabetes. Communicating with key people, such as the nurse and social worker, can help open the door to relevant and timely communication.
Schedule an appointment with the school nurse or health clinic to find out what they can and cannot do regarding diabetes management. What specific considerations do you need to put in place to make sure your health stays a priority? Does your school require a healthcare provider’s note for the staff to hold or give medications to you? Do you need to take your medicine or blood sugar at a certain time of day (i.e., during class time)?
Carry an alert tag, your list of medications, and other supplies on you. I often come in contact with PWD who do not carry their testing supplies with them. Low blood sugars can occur at school, as well. Be prepared with a snack bag for hypoglycemia and keep your testing supplies near you. You can get a free diabetes necklace from the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation.
Keep a journal devoted to your diabetes management and questions to ask your healthcare provider. If you experience high or low blood sugars while at school, jot down reasons you may think you experienced hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Discuss your readings with those involved with your care, including your healthcare provider as instructed. Journal writing can help with problem-solving. Meet your experiences head-on with the mindset that enables success.
Obtain a completed diabetes action plan from your healthcare provider. Know when and who to call for questions, when and how to take your medications, and key resources to help you be successful in school.
Know how to store your diabetes medications and supplies. Extreme temperatures can interfere with how medicine works and cause inaccurate test readings.
To Your Best Health & Life!