Back to School with T1

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Back to school is right around the corner! Are YOU ready?? Im SO not ready! I live for our summer vacations..

That means meetings with teachers, packing diabetic supplies, school shopping, teacher training, and preparing our kids for another school year.

When you have a T1 kiddo, back to school is a lot more than just school shopping and sending them off to school..

It is different for each age and each specific child!

Here are some things we do to prepare our kids AND the school for another school year with T1.

  • Prepare the nurse:   for us, this means taking in a small tub of items my child will possibly need through out the school day.  Because Madi is in elementary school, she will have items in the class as well as in the nurses office. I am usually right around the corner form her school so its easy for me to run up if they need anything but I try to avoid that so I send double the supplies for her.  Craig on the other hand will be a Senior in high school. He has his own car and he carries a few things in his backpack as well so he only has a tub of items in the nurse.  I do not give each teacher a pack of supplies.  I know some parents do but like I said, each child is different. Craig is very independent and again I am only a few minutes from his school so if he truly needed anything I could run up.

Here are items we give to the nurse in a clear tub with childs name and a picture of them on the front:

*carb/protein snacks like crackers & PB, yogurt, protein bars

*boxes of juice and glucose tablets

*extra pump battery

*extra pump cartridge

*Glucagon

*Alcohol Wipes

*Extra meter

*Extra pump site and tubing

*Ketone strips

*Vial of insulin

*a few water bottles

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  • Prepare the teachers & teaching staff:  I need to go in and train the 3rd grade staff (all staff just in case her teacher is absent at any time).  We will cover what T1 is, high/lows, Glucagon, warning signs, carbs & intake, checking glucose, quick sugars and more.  I talk about how her lows effect her specifically (if she says she is hungry she is usually low, or she gets very pale! If in question, just have her check) Teachers will be able to ask questions of me as well.     After the meeting, we will make sure that her teacher has the following items in class:

* juice boxes and glucose tablets

*Doctors note from endocrinologist confirming T1D and care instructions  (you can ask your doctor to just fax this over)

*carb/protein snacks like crackers & PB, yogurt, protein bars

*extra testing strips

*extra pump battery

*extra pump cartridge

*no carb snacks like beef jerky

*Glucagon

*Alcohol Wipes

*Extra meter

*Extra pump site and tubing

*Ketone strips

*Vial of insulin

*Handouts of signs of highs and lows

*A substitute paper with a photo of Madi on it for easy recognition. (most teachers hang this on their wall and put one in their substitute packets.)

*she will also have a very small bag to take to recess with a meter, glucagon and quick sugars in it.  I got a pencil bag that had handles and fit everything perfectly!!

(For Craig he just has a snack, extra meter, pump site and glucose tablets in his backpack as well as emergency items in his car at all times.)

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  •  Meet with school staff, principal and nurse to create a 504:  luckily we have a great school for Madi that we probably dont even need a 504, but I like to have one anyway.  Craigs school is a bit different as it is larger and he has several teachers.  Either way, it is a good idea to have one in place.  Some specific things we put in the 504 are:

*A parent is able to go on all field trips at no extra cost or a nurse will be sent
*I will get a call if she is above 300 or under 80 (I get texts from the nurse throughout her day)
*absences diabetes related will not count against her
*her carb ratios and a doctors order
*She will be able to test BS in class to have less access to sickness at the nurses office.
*She will be able to wear her pump pouch and belts in any color or style she chooses (she goes to a charter school with uniforms)
*If her BS is under 80 or aboove250, she will not take tests until she is within range
*school will text me before giving her any insulin to confirm amount.
*she will have unlimited access to water and bathroom breaks
*much more specifics on her daily checks as well like checking 5 minutes before recess and lunch so she wont miss  out on fun time if she needs to be dosed.

For Craig, since he is in high school he is independent with his diabetes.. Meaning he doesnt really need help unless there were a crashing low and he were unable to take care of himself.  For this reason, I email all of his new teachers and meet with them for a quick T1 education meeting if they want.  Typically they email me back though and they each get a copy of his 504 as well to look over.  We go over his needs and what to expect from him (and the teachers).

 

It is a lot to prepare for Back to school!! Good Luck!

Hayleigh Pahnke_060     Hayleigh Pahnke_062     Hayleigh Pahnke_068

(Pictured here is Hayleigh…She is fourteen years old and was diagnosed at the age of four. She loves to volunteer. She is a cheerleader and is also involved in theater. She has planned to attend ASU ever since she was eight years old. When she graduates, she wants to be a math teacher.)

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