Diabetes in Children: Care Plan for School or Day Care
Federal laws protect children with
diabetes from discrimination in schools and child care
settings. Schools and child care centers must provide reasonable help for the
special needs of children with diabetes while disrupting the usual routine as
little as possible. Also, children should be allowed to take part in
all school activities.1
If your child has
diabetes, work with your child care center or school to build a care plan
that meets your child's needs and gives specific instructions for how to handle
Blood sugar testing. Include how often and in what
situations your child's blood sugar needs testing. For example, your child may
need routine testing before lunch and special testing if he or she appears to
have low blood sugar.
Insulin injections, if needed. Include information on
how to give an insulin injection, how much medicine to give, and how to store
Meals and snacks. Make a list of foods that your child can
eat, how much, and when. Talk with the staff about what to do when there are
parties at the facility.
Symptoms of and treatment for low blood sugar. Use
the information found under Dealing with low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia)
emergencies for people taking insulin in the Home Treatment section of this
topic. Give the staff copies of this information for later reference. And tell
them how your child acts when his or her blood sugar level is low.
Symptoms of and treatment for high blood sugar. Use
the information found under Dealing with high blood sugar level (hyperglycemia)
emergencies in the Home Treatment section of this topic. Give the staff copies
of the information for later reference. And tell them how your child acts when
his or her blood sugar level is high.
Testing ketones. Include instructions for when and how to
test your child for ketones and what to do if ketones are
Contact persons. Include how to contact both parents
or another adult who cares for the child as well as the name and phone number
of the child's doctor.
You may hear a care plan called a "504" plan. 504
refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act of 1991, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
These are laws that protect people who have disabilities. It means that schools
that have federal funding cannot discriminate against children who have
disabilities, and that includes children who have diabetes.1 You can find a Diabetes Medical Management Plan on the American Diabetes
You will need to give the staff all of the
materials and equipment they need to care for your child, including supplies to
home blood sugar test, insulin, syringes,
glucagon (if it's in the care plan), and materials for
testing ketones. And you need to teach the staff how to use these
materials. Remind the staff that your child needs access to the materials and
equipment at all times, even on a field trip. Now and then, check the expiration
dates of supplies your child has at school.
The child care center
or school should provide safe storage for your child's medicines. Also,
they should provide a private place for your child to receive care, if
The child care center or school should provide an adult
staff member and a backup person who are:1
Able to test your child's blood sugar level,
record the results, and take the correct action for high or low blood sugar
Trained to give insulin and glucagon, if
Able to test your child's urine or blood for ketones and
know what to do if the results are not normal.
Aware of your
child's meal and snack schedule and can remind your child when it is time to
Also, your child should have permission to:
Eat a snack anywhere, including the classroom and
school bus. Make sure this is in the diabetes care plan.
restroom and drink liquids as needed.
See school health personnel
whenever he or she asks.
Miss school (without consequences) for
If your child can do a blood sugar test, let the staff
know that your child may need help when his or her blood sugar level is low and
may need to be reminded to eat or drink something during these times.
A child should never be left alone when his or her blood sugar level is
Contact the American Diabetes Association for a sample
diabetes care plan and other information for teachers and child care
For older children who take their own insulin to
school, check the school rules for kids carrying their own medicine, needles,
and blood sugar meters. Many schools do not allow kids to carry any kind of
medicine without special permission.
American Diabetes Association (2012). Diabetes care in the school and day care setting. Diabetes Care, 35(Suppl 1): S76–S80.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.