Another school year is quickly approaching, and it’s time to start putting plans in place for diabetes maintenance at school. This year, my focus is just a bit different. We’ll stick with the same procedures that have worked so well for the last couple of years, but my goal is to add some extra precautions in case of an extreme emergency.
It seems like every time I turn around, I hear about some major emergency or tragedy that has happened somewhere in the country. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even want to let my precious kids out of my sight, even though I know that these incidents are rare. While I don’t want to dwell on the terrible things that could happen when my kids are at school, I also know that it is a possibility that something bad could happen, and I want to be as prepared as possible. So with that in mind, here’s my plan:
1. Have an emergency kit in the classroom. We have always kept a generous amount of all the supplies Kaitlyn would ever need in the school office. We have extra insulin, syringes, testing kits, lancets, batteries, pump supplies, emergency shots, glucose tabs and even a food scale. What we have been lacking all this time is an emergency kit in the classroom. If there were ever a lockdown and Kaitlyn was not able to leave the classroom, she would need some supplies. She knows how to check herself and operate her pump, but that knowledge would not do her any good if she didn’t have a kit to test herself with. So I am going to send in an extra testing kit with plenty of test strips, juice and glucose tabs, and an emergency treatment for severely low blood sugar.
2. Meet with the teacher and give detailed instructions. In the past, our instructions to the teacher have been pretty vague, because we have assumed that the nurse would always be there to take care of any problems. That works great for the most part, but this year, I’d like to go over with the teacher what to do in a dire emergency. I want to make sure Kaitlyn would be ok if the teacher were the only one there to take care of her. I’ll go over what’s in her emergency kit and how to use it. I’ll make sure she’s aware of what Kaitlyn can do on her own and what she might need help with. I’ll also give written instructions on how to use the emergency treatment for severely low blood sugar and a list of emergency contact numbers.
3. Continue to teach and prepare Kaitlyn. I am always amazed at what Kaitlyn is capable of. When it comes right down to it, she is her own biggest safety net. As she learns more and more about how to take care of herself, she’ll be more prepared to know what to do in an emergency.
Let’s all hope and pray that we will never need these extra safety precautions, but at the same time put our best efforts into helping our kids with type 1 stay safe at school!
About the author: My name is Kim. My daughter Kaitlyn (the third of our five children) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few years after my nephew James was diagnosed with the same disease. I'm excited to pair up with my sister-in-law, Jen, to share our story with you!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.
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