JDRF Position Statement on Diabetes Management in Schools
JDRF believes that students with type 1 diabetes must be allowed to manage their diabetes in a school setting by monitoring their blood sugar, eating appropriate foods, and administering insulin. These children require appropriate school policies and a strong supportive network to help facilitate their life sustaining health regimen. Teachers, parents, school administrators, and health care providers must work together with the student to develop guidelines for management of their diabetes.
Diabetes requires students to monitor their glucose levels and if necessary take immediate action to bring their levels within a normal range. While in school they must be allowed to test their glucose levels, self-administer insulin as needed and take other corrective measures such as drinking juice for low glucose levels.
Children with diabetes may need to carry medically-necessary devices, such as injection kits for the delivery of glucagon, syringes and insulin pumps for insulin delivery, and continuous glucose monitors in their backpacks or on their person. They need to be allowed to check their glucose level and store their medications in a secure location. Children may need adult support to properly monitor their glucose levels and manage their insulin needs.
Children must have access to adults who are trained to recognize the warning signs of high or low glucose levels and be able to take appropriate action. Each school should have an adult who is qualified to manage an emergency hypoglycemic episode caused by dangerously low glucose levels. Special allowances may be needed for test taking and treatment when a child is experiencing these extreme glucose levels.
Children with diabetes have the right to fully partake in all school activities without the diabetes-related stigma and discrimination in their school settings and community.
Children with diabetes should participate in class field trips and be encouraged to engage in sports and physical activities. With planning and routine glucose checks, participation in these activities is safe for children with diabetes. In fact, exercise is now considered essential for avoiding or delaying the onset of diabetic complications.
JDRF is investing in the most innovative and promising clinical research to accelerate solutions for diabetes management and improve the health and well-being of individuals living with the challenges and burden of type 1 diabetes. Through our clinical research, we are accelerating the pace of discoveries and development of new treatments and technologies, such as the artificial pancreas for continuous monitoring of glucose levels and the encapsulation technology to restore insulin independence. This is why it is critical that we continue to fund diabetes research, as these innovative therapies and technologies can bring tremendous benefits to children in school settings to better manage their diabetes until we find a cure.