Q: The school nurse called to let me know our son had a low blood sugar episode, but after drinking some juice and resting, his blood sugar rose back to normal range -- though she described him as still feeling "a little off." What do other parents do in this situation?
A: It's normal to be worried by hypoglycemia. With proper care, most kids bounce back and return to class. But some may still feel "off" even if their blood sugar levels are fine. The most effective way to help ensure a plan for these circumstances is in place is to prepare in advance. Work with the school nurse to develop a plan (ideally part of a formal 504 Plan) as to how low blood sugar will be treated -- a plan that is well understood by you, your child and the school personnel. It should include answers to such questions as: "How will I be informed when a low blood sugar occurs?" "Who will be checking his blood sugar?" "Who will be treating lows and how?" "Will there be follow-up snack and /or meals provided?"
Having a plan in place -- and following through with it -- can help not only to keep your child's blood sugar steady throughout the day but also to keep everyone prepared for when a low blood sugar episode occurs. If another low happens, be sure to ask the school exactly how this was handled and what, if anything, might have contributed to it. If school staff understand the circumstances that can lead to low blood sugar, it may be easier to take steps to prevent it from happening again.
--Patty Beckwith, MPH, RD, CDE, is an outpatient pediatric dietitian at Mattel Children's Hospital, UCLA.
Disclaimer: The information in these articles is not intended as medical advice. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding individual care.