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November 6, 2002

School and Daycare

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Question from Aurelia, Iowa, USA:

I have a student with type 1 diabetes, and all of this current year his blood sugar has been running very high. Last week on a field trip it was over 500 mg/dl [27.8 mmol/L], and it rarely is under 100 mg/dl [5.6 mmol/L] at school. There is only one parent, a father, who has some health concerns of his own. There is a set of grandparents, but I am not sure how active they are in the care of this child.

I am very upset that this child’s blood sugars seem to be so out of control. I am not sure if it is lack of concern or just not really understanding the consequences of the long term problems with high blood sugar. My husband has had type 1 for over 47 years, so I think it is a crime for a child today, who can take advantage of all of our modern technology and new insulins, to be facing problems basically from lack of concern by family. I would like a concise list of long term effects of poor diabetes control (perhaps with a time table to make it more convincing) to try to make these family members more aware of what may happen to this child.

Is it some form of abuse or neglect to not provide adequate care for a child with diabetes? I know this child sees a doctor, but that just doesn’t seem to matter. I am feeling very angry and helpless. Parent teacher conferences are coming and I am hoping to have something in hand I can share with these people.

Answer:

Basic information regarding complications can be found by looking through questions about them. Another excellent resource for the information you are requesting is Diabetes Management at School.

You need to work with the child’s diabetes medical team and family to enforce the diabetes management plan. If you suspect medical neglect, then you can contact your County or State child protective services.

HVS