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From Frankfort, Kentucky, USA:

My great-niece just began attending kindergarten here in Kentucky at the public school where I happen to work. Our county has one nurse who attends to the two high schools, two middle schools and eight elementary schools. We are in the process of developing a plan for my niece concerning her care at school. The nurse tells us she is the only school employee that can legally work the pump to do the correction and meal bolus' needed during the school day. However, anyone who is trained may take the child's blood sugar levels. Since the nurse is not always available, she wants the parent to provide someone who can be called upon to come to the school to do these boluses when needed. The nurse also tells us I cannot be one of those people that the parents allow to work the pump for their child because I am a school employee. The nurse also stated the child could work the pump herself with either herself or a parent on the speaker phone telling her what to do at each step of the way. The parent immediately discarded that idea because the child is only five years old and allowing her to work her own pump may lead to unintentional accidents with a child that doesn't realize the gravity of the situation.

I know laws differ in each state, but it seems like the school system shouldn't be able to require the parent or anyone outside the school system itself to be available to come in at a moments notice for the purpose of doing the daily administration of this pump. Can you provide help on this or point us to the right organization within this state for help?


Please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES to further discuss with ADA's Legal Advocacy staff. Also, read the information and materials on the ADA web site about School Discrimination.

It is the school's legal obligation under federal law (Section 504 and American with Disabilities Act) to meet the needs of students with disabilities. This would include having a trained adult (whether it be the school nurse, a teacher, or school secretary) available to administer insulin. If the school takes the position that only a school nurse may administer insulin, then it is the school's responsibility to make sure that a school nurse is available at all times.


Original posting 10 Mar 2008
Posted to School and Daycare


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:16
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