COVID-19 - Children With Diabetes Returning To School

COVID-19 - Children With Diabetes Returning To School

The NZ Clinical Network for Children and Young People with Diabetes advises that it is safe for children and young people with diabetes to be at school under Alert Levels 1 or 2.

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Key points to remember about children with diabetes returning to school

  • whether schools and early childcare services are open depends on the current Alert Level
  • schools and early childcare services are open at Alert Levels 1 and 2
  • the recommendation of the NZ Clinical Network for Children and Young People with Diabetes is that it is safe for children and young people with diabetes to be at school at Alert Levels 1 and 2
  • if your region is at Alert Level 3 or 4, check the alert system overview at the Government's Unite Against COVID-19 website
  • if your diabetes team said it was safe for your child to go to school before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, then it is safe for your child to go to school when they are open

Can my child or teen with diabetes return to school?

Schools and early childcare services are open at Alert Levels 1 and 2.

It is safe for children and young people with diabetes to be at school at Alert Levels 1 and 2.

The New Zealand Clinical Network for Children and Young People with Diabetes advises that it is safe for children and young people with diabetes to be at school at Alert Levels 1 and 2. If your region moves to Alert Level 3 or 4, check the alert system overview at the Government's Unite Against COVID-19 website.

If your diabetes team said it was safe for your child to go to school before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Clinical Network for Children and Young People with Diabetes is advising that it is safe for your child to go to school when they are open.

What is the current understanding about COVID-19 and children?

  1. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, children, particularly younger children, were less likely than adults to catch SARS-CoV2 (the virus causing COVID-19). There was also evidence that children didn't spread the virus as much as adults.
  2. Since then, more infectious variants of COVID-19 have developed - in particular, the Delta variant. Also, increasing numbers of adults have had immunisation against COVID-19.
  3. There is now evidence of increasing COVID-19 infections in children.
  4. There is also evidence of COVID-19 spreading between age groups (for example, between adults and children).

What is the current understanding about COVID-19 and children with diabetes?

  1. There is some evidence that children with type 1 diabetes are at more risk of getting severe illness with COVID-19. 
  2. For this reason, it's important for parents and caregivers of young people with type 1 diabetes to have the COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. It's also important for children and young people with diabetes (12 years of age and over) to have the COVID-19 vaccine. This group can have the vaccine now.

Find out about COVID-19 immunisation for children and teens with diabetes

Acknowledgements

The content on this page has been approved by the Clinical Network for Children and Young People with Diabetes, Paediatric Society of New Zealand.

This page last reviewed 26 August 2021.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it