Children and Diabetes: Tips for Success at School
Raising children is often a tough job. But, if your child suffers from diabetes, it can make your life and his even harder to handle. If you are a parent who feels the worry and uncertainty of sending your diabetic child off to school and out of your control, this article will give you some tips and advice that will make life at school a little easier for both of you.
At the beginning of each school year, or after your child has been diagnosed with diabetes, ask for a conference with the school principal and his teacher to make them aware of his diabetes and any special needs he will have. Knowing this important information will help to keep emergencies at bay and save your child from any embarrassing situations.
Make a list of important information regarding your child and his disease. Ask the school nurse, office and his teacher to keep a copy available in case of an emergency. Your child should also keep a copy in his backpack just in case. This list should include your address and phone number, both mother and father's work numbers and an emergency contact in case you cannot be reached.
It is important to think ahead when you have a child with special needs. A good idea is to keep snacks at school in case the class is served food that your child cannot have. This will keep him from feeling left out during birthdays and celebrations. Also, make sure there is a supply of any medications he may need during school hours kept in the nurse's office. You must also provide a note from his doctor with explicit instructions for use.
A good way to make your child and his class feel at ease with his diabetes is to have the teacher take time to explain diabetes to the class. This should be done in a positive way in order to make your child feel special. It is important that your child's classmates not think of him as sick or handicapped. It could even be fun to let him hold a question and answer time for the other children to learn about diabetes from him.
Most importantly, teach your child to be proactive about his disease. Make sure he knows about any symptoms he should seek help for and that he can go to any adult at school for help. Be sure he knows about any diet restrictions he may have, as teachers can get busy and may forget. Teach your child that although there is always help for him whenever he needs it, his diabetes is ultimately his responsibility to manage when he is away from home. By learning this at an early age, he will grow to become a healthy adult who knows how to care for his disease and his health as well.
Sometimes parents don't realize how much a child can do for themselves. It is up to you to put the tools into place and make sure your diabetic child has everything he needs available to him. But after that, it is vital that you educate your child, helping him to learn all he can about his disease so that he knows how to take care of himself. Remember, when your child is away from home, he is his own best advocate!