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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
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
Also, your child should have permission to:
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.
August 15, 2013
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Stephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
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