Key points to remember
- children with diabetes go to kindergarten, day care and school and participate in all normal educational and social activities
- every child living with diabetes has specific needs
- it is important for families to work closely with school staff to create a safe environment for diabetes
Diabetes management at kindergarten, early childhood settings and school
Children with diabetes go to kindergarten, day care and school and participate in all normal educational and social activities.
A diabetes health care provider will generally work with your child/adolescent, your family and teachers. This ensures that school and early childhood staff know about the safe management of diabetes and can involve your child fully in education based activities without discrimination.
Action and management plans
It is important to recognise that every child living with diabetes has specific needs. The 'Clinical Network for Children and Young People's Diabetes Services' has developed a collection of school action and accompanying management plans. These are designed to support families in creating a safe environment at school for diabetes care. Families need to complete the plans with the support of their local diabetes treating team before sharing them with relevant school staff.
Diabetes action and management plans for kindergarten and early childhood settings
Diabetes action and management plans for primary and secondary schools
- 2015-2016 New Zealand diabetes management plan (twice daily injections) (PDF, 284KB)
- 2015-2016 New Zealand diabetes action plan (twice daily injections) (PDF, 359KB)
- 2015-2-16 New Zealand diabetes management plan (multiple daily injections) (PDF, 284KB)
- 2015-2016 New Zealand diabetes action plan (multiple daily injections) (PDF, 244KB)
- 2015-2016 New Zealand diabetes management plan (insulin pump) (PDF, 295KB)
- 2015-2016 New Zealand diabetes action plan (insulin pump) (PDF, 366KB)
As well as an action and management plan, there are other resources which should be available to your child's school.
School resource flip chart
This is available from Diabetes Youth New Zealand and covers the following topics:
- what is diabetes?
- high blood glucose (hyperglycaemia)
- low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia)
- treatment of a mild to moderate 'hypo'
- treatment of a severe 'hypo'
- food and diabetes
- exercise and diabetes
- diabetes treatment at school/exams
- family, other topics and student's services
This includes items that would be used in the event of a 'hypo' or low blood sugar episode and clear instructions on how to administer. Items could include glucose tablets, juice drinks as well as carbohydrate snacks.
Creating a safe environment for diabetes at school
It is important for families to work closely with school staff to create a safe environment for diabetes. Parents need to arrange a meeting with the school as early as possible to discuss the action and management plan and associated care requirements.
Important points to cover with school staff
- schools need to have up to date information resources and education about diabetes. Education should be provided by the health care professionals who are suitably qualified and are involved in the care of your child
- children with diabetes should always wear medic-alert identification at school
- children with diabetes should be allowed to test their blood glucose levels in the classroom if they wish
- children with diabetes should be allowed to inject insulin in public if they wish
- children with type 1 diabetes should never be left alone when hypo or be prevented from eating or drinking to treat or prevent a hypo
Special conditions for young people living with type 1 diabetes sitting NCEA or Cambridge examinations should be negotiated with the school at the beginning of each academic year. A 'specialist medical report' for each young person confirming special requirements must be submitted to NZQA by the school early each academic year. See:
- Diabetes and exams: Information for young people with diabetes mellitus (PDF, 85KB)
- Exams and type I diabetes medical report (PDF, 62KB)
- Exams and type 2 diabetes medical report (PDF, 62KB)
The Paediatric Society of New Zealand acknowledges the cooperation of the Starship Children's Hospital, Auckland District Health Board. The content on this page has been produced in collaboration with the 'National Clinical Network for Children and Young People's Diabetes Services'.
© Paediatric Society of New Zealand and Starship Foundation 2005 – 2016
Printed on 26 September 2016. Content is regularly updated so please refer to www.kidshealth.org.nz for the most up-to-date version