Relieving back to school anxieties 1 January 2014 Management plans Most families will have an appointment scheduled with their hospital treating team leading up to or during the summer holiday break. This is the ideal time to discuss the creation and confirmation of a school diabetes management plan for the new school year. The hospital team (usually the Diabetes Educator) will put the plan together following discussion with families. The plan includes the key aspects of diabetes care that the school will be responsible for undertaking during a normal school day, contact information for parents/carers, and contact details of the child’s DE. Diabetes care aspects covered in a management plan include insulin injections, blood glucose monitoring times and details, hypo signs and symptoms, hypo treatment details, hyper procedures, maybe aspects relating to sport, PE and tests/exams depending on the age of the child. Parent responsibility It is the responsibility of parents to make sure a copy of the management plan gets to the school in time for the start of the year. It is recommended that you make an appointment with the class teacher or other appropriate staff, to hand over the plan and discuss the contents as necessary. Parents need to ensure that all the equipment needed by the school to support their child is supplied to the school and re-stocked when needed. This includes blood glucose meter, test strips, lancet device (all clearly named). A hypo kit will be needed too. It’s best to have more than one kit so that supplies can be kept in a variety of locations around the school. The kit could be a lunch box with a lid, clearly named and containing sufficient quick acting glucose and follow-up carbs as outlined on the management plan. Many parents use zip-lock bags to ensure measured (10g usually) jelly beans or equivalent can be quickly and easily given to the child having a hypo. It may also be helpful to make a small list of contents so teachers can know when a re-stock is needed. You might like to include a laminated copy of the hypo treatment section of the management plan as a quick reminder. School responsibility The school is responsible for keeping the child safe at school and ensuring that they can participate fully in all learning and play activities. Diabetes Australia â€“ Vic encourages schools to send key staff to attend our information seminars for their professional development and to promote thorough understanding and increased confidence about type 1 diabetes at school. This includes the classroom teacher/s, first aid staff, specialist staff (particularly PE), office and support staff. You can give the information seminar flyer to your school principal to encourage their support of you, your child and their staff. Camps Going on school camp is a wonderful opportunity for children to grow and expand their independence. There is no reason why a child with diabetes should be excluded from a school camp whether it is local, interstate or overseas. Planning ahead is the key to camp success, enjoyment and safety. When a school camp is planned, a separate and special diabetes management plan is needed to cover the overnight and extra activities that go with a camp experience. It is very important to discuss an upcoming camp with your DE well in advance, to enable the plan to be put together and a meeting held between you and the school staff before camp. Communication We’d like to think that regular communication between home and school happens readily, but the reality of busy lives means this can be challenging for some. At the start of each term, you might find it helpful to reconnect with the classroom teacher to confirm how and when they will contact you and you them, when needed. You might like to use a notebook or diary that goes between home and school every day, alternatively you might agree to text or email when needed. It doesn’t matter how it happens, it’s just important that it does happen. Starting school is an exciting but daunting prospect for most families, but when your child has type 1 diabetes there are additional challenges. Planning ahead and asking for help can assist this process to be smooth and less stressful.