There are some important informational items schools, teachers, and classmates need to know about diabetes. It’s important that your school be prepared for any emergency that should arise about your child’s diabetes. The school nurse should be part of the care team at school. Everyone who has contact with a child with diabetes needs to be ready to take care of providing the necessary support needed.
One important point to remember is, always take a diabetic child seriously if he makes a request for a drink of water, needs a snack, or needs to use the rest room. The child’s body is telling them what they need to remain healthy. Remember that a child with diabetes has normal interests and dreams the same dreams of other children. It’s important that a child with diabetes be treated as normal as possible. There should always be open lines of communication between the classroom and home.
Telling classmates the child has diabetes is all right as long as it is presented in a positive way. The class should be aware of possible diabetes emergencies and they should know they are kids just like them.
How do you tell classmates and what do you tell them? Here are a few hints. A family member may want to do a short presentation to the class about the disease. They could provide information according to their education and be prepared to answer questions. Questions will be asked; children are naturally curious and will honest, truthful answers to their questions.
The class should be told in terms they can understand, what diabetes is, and how it affects the body. Let them know that children with diabetes will take shots to control the disease. Tell them about blood sugar and how important it is the brain and nervous center. The signs of an insulin reaction may be an important part of this presentation.
Explaining chemical changes that occur in the body of a diabetic will help them understand when low blood sugar causes unusual behavior in their classmate. Unusual anger, they may become grouchy, have headaches, fall asleep unexpectedly, or be confused about simple things.
Children should know that a diabetic child could be having so much fun or they are doing something interesting and may not notice they are having signs of low blood sugar. It is important to remember that children with diabetes should stay away from simple sugar. Though they are not supposed to have sweets, eating sugar cubes, a piece of candy, fruit juice, or soda pop will help bring their sugar levels up.
Children should be told that when a person with diabetes react to chemical changes because of diabetes, they may act shaky, butterflies in their stomach, sweating, and looking pale. If the classmate is preparing to give an oral report or to take an important test, they may find their blood sugar will drop. Some symptoms may show up that require them to have a small snack to keep their blood sugar levels under control.