Back to School with T1D
When a child with type 1 diabetes (T1D) enters the school system, it’s important that the child’s teachers, school and people caring for the child before and after school, are all aware of their medical situation. It’s important that adults around the child understand that T1D requires intensive, day-to-day management and are aware of how to manage a child’s T1D in a classroom setting.
With the school year back in session, here are three helpful tips for T1D at school:
- Educate the educator: Set up a meeting with your child’s school and teachers beforehand. Try to do this at least a week before school starts so that the teacher has time to do a bit of their own research. This meeting gives you a chance to explain your child’s T1D and set up a plan of action for how it will be handled daily in the classroom and over the school year. Many provinces will have a standard care plan for children with diabetes.
- Complete a Diabetes Management Plan (DMP): A DMP is completed in collaboration with the parent, student and school personnel. It will outline how your child’s diabetes should be managed throughout the course of the school day. It will contain information on blood glucose monitoring, insulin delivery, and food management, as well as what to do in an emergency situation. You can find a copy of our DMP in the JDRF School Advisory Toolkit. To request a toolkit, please visit jdrf.ca/living-with-t1d/for-schools/ or contact your local JDRF chapter.
- Communication is key: Creating open communication between you and your child’s school allows you to approach the management of your child’s diabetes as a team. The more information you can provide the school, the more comfortable they will feel regarding the in-school management of your child’s diabetes. Remember to discuss the roles and expectations of everyone involved and make sure everyone leaves with a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
JDRF is here to help make going back to school as easy as possible for parents, schools, and children with T1D. We recommend that you bring a copy of the JDRF School Advisory Toolkit to the initial meeting with your child’s school personnel. The guide offers a collaborative method for educators and parents of children with diabetes to ensure every child enjoys the best possible school experience.