Back to School With Diabetes: Tips for Parents

August is back-to-school month for many kids, but children with diabetes have more to worry about than sharpening their pencils or buying a new lunch box.

A report recently released by the American Diabetes Association Safe at School Working Group suggests that parents who prepare and organize for the start of school can significantly influence their child's success when it comes to diabetes management.

"Diabetes is a disease that must be managed 24/7," said Linda Siminerio, co-chair of the Safe at School Working Group. "Failure to do so can result in serious short- and long-term medical complications."

The ADA has launched the Safe at School campaign, which raises awareness about how to accommodate diabetic children and resolve challenges in the school environment.

How to prepare

Parents can prepare in many ways for the start of school. The ADA recommends that parents:

1. Reach out to teachers and administrators before the school year begins to update your child's diabetes care plan and inquire about supplies.

2. Meet personally with the school nurse or other staff responsible for providing care.

3. Become familiar with federal and state laws regarding your child's rights.

The Safe at School campaign also provides an Advocacy Training Program, where volunteers and parents can be trained to educate others about the rights of diabetic children and how to care properly for their needs.

Parents can also listen to recordings of free webinars on the ADA's website that discuss topics like diabetes care challenges, federal laws, and the fair treatment of children with diabetes.

"It's...imperative that every student with diabetes has a plan in place to meet their diabetes needs at school as well as off site, during field trips and at all school-sponsored activities," Siminerio said.

Source: American Diabetes Association

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