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September 9, 2002

School and Daycare

Question from Franklin, Wisconsin, USA:

My 12 year old daughter is very independent with her diabetes and entering seventh grade. The school does allow her to take her monitor and tablets with her to all classes, and do checks whenever she needs to. She does her blood sugar check, and eats in the lunchroom, but then then has to go down to the health room to administer her insulin, and she would like to get her insulin in the lunchroom. The school is telling us that all medicine has to be given in the health room, but I know they make exceptions (inhalers, EpiPens). Does she have any rights that allow her to administer/carry her insulin/syringes with her?

Answer:

The laws state that schools must make reasonable accommodations for children with diabetes. Your daughter’s school, in fact, is allowing a lot more than other schools do. I can see both sides of this issue.

On the school’s side: the nurse (or whoever is in charge of the health room) is responsible to see that correct doses of medication are given. In addition, I can understand their concerns about syringes outside this venue. But I can also emphasize with your daughter in wanting to take her insulin in the lunchroom so that she does not lose some of her “social time”.

An EpiPen� is a self -contained device which deliver a set dose in an emergency situation. Inhalers also must be used on rather an immediate basis, and deliver set doses.Perhaps you might convince the school to allow your daughter to carry a pen device which is much like the “exceptions” you describe. I’m not sure whether or not a written physician’s letter to allow your daughter to do this would work, but you could try. Another alternative would be for your daughter to think about using an insulin pump.

I would discuss these options with school officials and your daughter. It would be nice, but schools are not mandated to allow children with diabetes to do what you are asking.

SS