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4- min read 08/11/2021
author Talitha Paauwe
CAREFREE WITH DIABETES TO PRIMARY SCHOOL: HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

Every child should be able to go to school without any worries, even if your child has diabetes. Carefree? That's easier said than done! As a parent you have to relinquish some of the control. But what about my child's blood sugars? What if my child goes outside to play? Do I have to inject insulin myself? Is the teacher willing to help?

Not only for you as a parent, but also for the school and your child itself, it can be exciting to deal with diabetes at school.

The Carefree with diabetes to school foundation understands your concerns and helps you on your way. So that your child has a good time at school, you can send your child to school with confidence and the teachers know what to do. What is important to know and do if your child with diabetes goes to school?

DIABETES CARE AT SCHOOL IS NOT A MUST, BUT A RIGHT

If the school has little experience with diabetes, they may not be interested in helping your child. But as parents you often do not have the opportunity to be there for your child every day during school time. Logical! It is therefore good to know that diabetes care in school is not a favor, but a right. Schools should not simply refuse care to students with diabetes, according to the advice of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights. Of course it doesn't help to force a school, but it helps to continue the conversation if the school refuses at first.

ORGANIZE A MEETING AT SCHOOL

Before your child starts school or before the new year begins, it is important to organize a meeting at school. Your child's teachers are present, you and possibly your partner, your child (depending on age), your child's diabetes nurse, a board member of the school and possibly teachers or supervisors from a previous school or daycare.

During the meeting you clearly explain what diabetes is and what consequences it has for your child. You will also discuss:

  • What your child can do
  • What you can and want to contribute
  • What you can expect from school and what you would like the school to do (voluntarily)

It is useful to make a checklist in advance with things you want to discuss. You can download a checklist with points for attention on the website of Stichting Zorgeloos met diabetes to school. It is also useful to record the agreements and share them with the school. In this way it is clear to everyone what is expected of him or her.

EXPLAIN YOUR CHILD'S CLASSMATES WHAT DIABETES INVOLVES

While your child may prefer not to talk much about his or her diabetes, it is often better to explain to the class what it is all about. This way you prevent your child from being bullied because he wears an insulin pump or from children being jealous that your child sometimes has to eat dextro or sweets during class. If you explain well in advance why this is necessary, they will understand better.

For example, have your child give a talk or show a video explaining it.

FIND CONTACT WITH PARENTS WHO ALSO HAVE A CHILD WITH DIABETES

It can be very helpful to talk to other parents who have a child with diabetes. This way you can exchange experiences and tips. Don't you know someone right away? Then definitely become a member of the Diacé Community group and connect with others online.

CREATE A PERSONAL DIABETES CARE PLAN

Your child's teacher will likely receive a lot of information at the beginning. Give the teacher time to process this and show understanding if the teacher does not understand at once. You can also draw up a personal diabetes care plan for your child. It describes exactly when the blood sugar is right, how to recognize a hyper or hypo in your child and what the teacher can do in the event of a hyper, hypo or emergency. That way, your teacher always has a cheat sheet to fall back on. Especially if the teacher is not in front of your child's class every day, it is useful to have a reminder. You can download the personal diabetes care plan from the website of Stichting Zorgeloos met diabetes to school and fill it in for your child.

DISCUSS THE SPECIAL DAYS IN ADVANCE

A child does not want to be different and just wants to participate in everything, just like children without diabetes. Unfortunately, it sometimes happens that teachers tell a child that they cannot go on a school trip or camp. For a child that is a huge blow. I recently spoke to a woman with diabetes who was told this by her teacher when she was in primary school. That moment is still etched in her memory and you could sense the frustration.

To avoid unpleasant situations, you can already discuss the special days at the beginning of the year.

KNOWING MORE?

More tips, manuals and checklists about going to school with diabetes can be found at zorgeloosmetdiabetesnaarschool.nl .

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