Going back to school is a time of excitement for parents and children, but it can also be nerve racking for families dealing with T1D. Based on feedback from those with T1D and the leading tips found online, we’ve put together our top five back to school tips for families managing T1D. We hope these tips bring you a little peace of mind as you wave goodbye and send your child(ren) back to school.
- Consult with your physician about a Continuous Glucose Monitor1 (CGM) to see if it might be a good option for your child. A CGM will allow the parent(s) or guardian(s) to monitor blood glucose levels in real-time using the share function on your smartphone. For more information about CGM’s, click here.
- Schedule a school meeting with the school nurse, principal, and teachers to discuss your child’s diagnosis and their needs. At this meeting, you can work to establish a Diabetes Medical Management Plan2 (DMMP) for your child. This plan will line out the treatment regimen for the caregivers during school time. It is also recommended that you submit a 504 plan to the school district. Creating a 504 plan will make it official that your child, in fact, does have Type 1 diabetes and serves as a guide for school officials that can help ensure your child thrives while in school. For more information on creating a 504 plan, click here.
- Make sure your child always has everything on them they need to manage their diabetes while at school and school functions. Keep items together in a bag or container that is easy to identify and labeled with your child’s name, medical ID and emergency contact details. For a list of possible items to include in a T1D school kit3, click here.
- In addition to a school kit for your child, you should also consider an ID bracelet or tag4 that indicates that your child has T1D. There are many choices available, for an extensive list of products, click here.
- Carbohydrate counting can help keep your child’s blood glucose levels close to normal. There are numerous websites, resources, and smartphone apps available to help make carb tracking more convenient. “Carb Counting with Lenny” is an interactive smartphone app for young children that makes T1D nutrition and carb counting both fun and exciting. For a more comprehensive explanation on T1D nutrition for your child, click here and for a list of smartphone apps, click here.
1. “Continuous Glucose Monitoring.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 01 June 2017. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/managing-diabetes/continuous-glucose-monitoring>.
2. Montgomery, Bridget. “Ultimate Back to School Guide for Type 1 Care.”TheDiabetesCouncil.com. N.p., 15 Aug. 2017. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <https://www.thediabetescouncil.com/ultimate-back-to-school-guide-for-type-1-care/>.
(n.d.): n. pag. Type 1 To Go. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <http://type1togo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/T1D-504-Plan-Process.pdf>.
3. “The On-the-go T1D Kit -.” Beyond Type 1. Beyond Type 1, 19 Nov. 2015. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <https://beyondtype1.org/the-on-the-go-t1d-kit/>.
4. “Medical Identification Products.” Children with DIABETES – Medical Identification Products. N.p., 17 June 2015. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/d_06_700.htm>.