I urge you to read the link I have attached. Although it is from the Canadian Diabetes Association, I have read many links which involve Diabetes Associations that exist around the globe. It seems on paper the protocol is in place if the school board or district is agreeable to implement & support. Every parent past & present that has a child with Type 1 fight to keep their child safe at school. The fact that our children are not viewed as ‘in need’ of special care in their daily management of diabetes at school is preposterous. Every diabetes organization is posting guidelines & lobbying for change but it is happening too slow. While school boards fight to keep their budgets or manage with less, our children living with diabetes’ risks of adverse events occurring is higher.
Examples to support the lack of guidelines & the situations Kurtis met as a result:
1. In Grade 5 his class is in a portable. Soon after the school year starts, Kurtis comes home to tell me during class that day he feels like he is having a low blood sugar. He tells his teacher. He tests & confirms. The teacher sends him by himself out from the portable into the school to the office to get a juice box. He tells me he is scared. Two issues: there are juice boxes in the classroom AND most important, she sends my scared son BY HIMSELF outside to enter the school & walk up a long hall & a set of stairs to treat himself for a low blood sugar. What if he didn’t make it?
2. In this same class, it is the middle of winter. A similar event occurs.
3. I discuss with the teacher the concern. She explains she can not expect a student to go with him as they need to be in the class to learn. She offers she can not leave the class to go with him & leave them on their own.
4. I discuss my concerns with the principal. She meets with the teacher & enforces a student needs to go with Kurtis when going to the office for a low…IF….there are NO juice boxes in the classroom.
5. At one point, Kurtis has a severe low at school. I meet with the principal & discuss options of having Glucagon for treatment if he becomes unable to take treatment orally. She informs me the school board will not allow her or the staff to inject Glucagon. I ask if children that have severe anaphylaxis to bee’s & peanuts have Epi-Pen’s at school? She says “yes”. I ask if the staff are allowed to inject the Epi-Pen if such an event occurs. She says “yes”. I point out to her that both events need life saving injection of a drug. She counters that she can call an ambulance with Kurtis & by the time they get to the school he will be okay. I was furious. How do you educate someone who is such an imbecile? So stuck on the rules that they won’t consider a child’s life could be at jeopardy?
How did I deal with this? I made myself on-call regardless whether I was sleeping from a night shift. If I was working a 12-hour day, I was fortunate my parents were on stand-by. I made it clear that the school was not to call 911 first (as the school was in the country), they call me. I knew I could make it to the school quicker than the ambulance could.
Thankfully, with regards to his diabetes, nothing serious happened.
I am not sure how to make an impact to sway school boards to start a standardized protocol that allows for a budget for help in overseeing glucose testing, injecting & bolus of insulin, eating the correct food & bringing attention to the proper person the needs of a child with Type 1. I do suggest lobbying & pressure by our local diabetes associations as well as supporting them in their campaign is instrumental. Many voices are louder than one. I urge you to take part.