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From Spring Mills, Pennsylvania, USA:

Our 14 year old daughter with type 1 diabetes was told by the school nurse that she could no longer carry insulin and syringes in her purse. She was told that she must leave a supply of those items in the nurse's office and a supply with her athletic coaches. This "tightening up" of the school rules came as a result of someone finding an unidentified student's syringe on the hallway floor at school. Now, our daughter will have to make sure that she puts a supply of syringes and insulin in her purse every day after school for any evening outings. She will then have to take those same items out of her purse every morning before she heads off to school. Rhetorically speaking, does this sound like something a teenager will remember to do every day, twice a day? Up to this point, she has taken care of her of her own diabetic needs at school without any infringement on those activities. Does the school have the right to require our daughter to keep her diabetic supplies, i.e. insulin and syringes, in some place other than her own personal possession?


It is the position of the American Diabetes Association that students with diabetes who are able to provide self-care should have immediate access to their equipment and supplies. It is recommended that this parent continue to work with school administrators and work up the chain of command as necessary to educate about diabetes, the importance of having immediate access to supplies in order for the child to remain in a medically safe environment, and enlist the help of your child's health care provider to support your child's ability to provide self-care in a responsible manner. While it is understandable that a school might be concerned about a syringe found on the floor, one isolated incident in and of itself should not be a sole basis for prohibiting a student with diabetes from engaging in self-care.


Original posting 23 May 2004
Posted to School and Daycare


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:56
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