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September 26, 2009

Other, School and Daycare

Question from England:

My ten-year-old daughter who has type 1 is going away with her school for a week. The first aid person going along with them isn't familiar with diabetes. I'm worried something will go wrong as my daughter's glucose levels are not stable and we have unconventional methods of dealing with lows and highs. What do you suggest?

Answer:

There are a number of items and questions below to consider to before your daughter goes on this trip, to make sure she is safe and everyone has a good time: safe and accurate insulin dosing, hypoglycemia recognition and treatment, access to food and blood glucose monitoring, adjustment for a new routine, and what to do if she is sick.

To start, it would be important to meet with the chaperones and teach them about diabetes care for your daughter, especially treatment of hypoglycemia. Communication with the school would be my first priority. I don’t know if you have a school nurse or teacher or staff person that helps with your daughter’s diabetes care, but I would enlist their assistance. Can you work with the first aid person and be in touch by phone while they are on the trip? Is it possible for you or other knowledgeable person to be a chaperone on the trip? Is your daughter and/or the adult chaperone going to be able to be in cell phone contact? If so, you would be able to assist by phone for the non urgent issues that arise. I would also talk with them about keeping the supplies safe, stored properly and supervised by an adult so she has what she needs on this trip.

School trips such as these are so rewarding. I wish you the best in arranging for this activity for your child.

LM

[Editor’s comment: You may wish to search our Family Support Network for the area your child will be staying to have a potential diabetes “expert” on hand to help. If you find someone, make sure the school is aware of any arrangements you may make.

BH]