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[IPp] Lows in school

I am the parent of a now freshman in High School.  But, we have been through
being an elementary parent, and middle school parent.  Every school and school
district is different so what works for one may not work for another.  In our
district (a large suburban district, upper middle class, outside of Detroit)
there is no school nurse.  There is a nurse for the entire county which may
drop into your child's school once a month for an hour or so.  This meant
finding different ways to work with the school and diabetes.

In the elementary school my son was ALWAYS able to check his blood sugars on
his own, IN the classroom.  I provided the classroom with a small refrigerator
where he kept snacks and juices so he did not have to leave the classroom to
treat a low, or have his am or pm snack (he was on shots at the time.)  I
arranged with the teacher at the start of the school year to give a very short
"lecture" on diabetes.  I talked about how you get it (just luck of the draw)
and how you DON'T (he didn't eat too much candy, etc.) and that it is NOT
contagious.  We demonstrate how he tests his blood and talked about why it is
important.  I also left age appropriate books in the classroom that the
teacher read to the class over the next few weeks.  But NO, your child should
not be walking around when low.

In middle school, it was a little different.  I was not about to provide a
frig. for every classroom!  There was a clinic at the school where there was a
frig. and I placed juices in there.  He was on the pump by then and did not
need the mandatory snack - just drinks to treat a low.  The school did not
allow back packs to be carried around, but the children did carry a pencil
pouch.  So we placed a meter and "poker" in his pencil pouch, so again he
could check his blood sugars anywhere, anytime.  I provided each teacher with
some sort of sugar (Mentos, Smarties, or Glucose tablets) that they kept in
their desk.  I also placed a detailed letter introducing Brian and explaining
why they were getting candy from me in their mail box before the first day of
school.  When he was new at the school I included his picture on the letter.

Now in High School they are allowed to carry a back pack at all times.  So
much easier!  He carries his meter, a cell phone (which is turned off during
the school day, but available if he really needed me), and some sort of sugar
at all times.  They also have Coke machines located throughout the school so
he always has money with him to purchase a drink.  The school clinic has juice
and crackers available (that I don't have to buy).  I again gave each teacher
a letter, but did not give them "sugar" as my son has it with him in his back
pack.  He checks his blood before lunch, and after school before football
practice, and things have been going pretty smooth.

So, my advice.  Work with your school, but fight for what your child needs.
They need to be able to check their blood sugars without loosing classroom
time and treat a low without walking around.

Good luck to all of you.

Jocelyn, Brian's mom
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