Helpful tips for families in managing diabetes
while at school during COVID – 19
While navigating school and a COVID-19 environment there may be changes to adjust to.
Here are some quick tips to help you stay on top of things:
Check the facts and stay up-to-date with the latest policies. Be prepared – check your child’s diabetes kit and management plan and refresh it where necessary.
Talk to your school, and let your teacher know about any changes to your child’s needs. Talk to your child about what is happening and help them to manage stress and anxiety.
Work with your diabetes school’s team, including your teacher, principal and health care professionals.
essential info and articles
Want to know more about how COVID-19 impacts you and your child? Want to know what you need to do to prepare for going back to school? We’ve got a range of articles and fact sheets in our COVID-19 Chalkboard hub.
When returning to school, there will be many changes to adjust to including changes in routine, food requirements and daily activity levels. These changes may impact your child’s blood glucose levels, which might mean extra monitoring and potential changes to their diabetes management plan while they adapt.
Here are some quick tips to help with a smooth transition.
- Help your child to pack their bag, plan their lunches, get their uniform ready, and talk to them about what they hope to do in their school day
- Debrief about the school day when you pick them up
- Talk to your child and school about additional monitoring and review their diabetes management plan if needed
- Restock and replenish school supplies and hypo kits
- Ask for support if you need it – the staff at your child’s school want this transition to be positive for your child and family
- Encourage your school’s staff to refresh their knowledge by completing the free Diabetes in Schools online training
Extra hygiene measures will be in place at schools to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Take time to discuss practicing good hygiene with your child. Good resources to refer to can be found here.
Talk with your school about the hygiene measures they plan to or have put in place for staff who need to assist your child with tasks such a glucose monitoring or insulin administration. This will include washing hands (or alcohol-based sanistiser use) before diabetes care tasks, use of gloves by school staff and extra cleaning of diabetes equipment. Take time to discuss these measures with your child and reassure them that these extra steps are needed at this time, but that they do not mean they are contagious or at increased risk of getting COVID-19.
Keep all diabetes equipment that is going to school such as blood glucose monitors, lancet devices, mobile phones used for CGM/flash monitoring and insulin pumps clean daily. Information about cleaning and disinfection can be found here. Make sure that any cleaning products used are compatible with your device/equipment.
If your child is unwell, do not send them to school.
Does your child’s classroom or specialist teacher require training on how to best support your child’s diabetes care during the school day? Due to COVID-19 restrictions, face-to-face training for school staff has been put on hold in some States, however, some hospitals are still able to deliver Level 3 training via video-conference.
You can also refer school staff to the Diabetes in Schools online training program where they can undertake online learning modules to learn more about supporting your child’s diabetes care needs while at school.
(CLICK HERE) to “Tell a School” about online training.
If you are still concerned and unsure if your child should be returning to school, please speak with your child’s diabetes treating team for further advice.
And we are always here to help. If you need support, please phone the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 and ask to speak with a diabetes educator.
If your school needs more support, you can refer school staff to this website,
Even during COVID-19, the Diabetes in Schools program has continued to offer a free, easily accessible online training program for all schools across the country. Since it was launched in February 2020, thousands of principals, teachers and school staff have registered with the online program to learn more about how they can support students with type 1 diabetes
Keep up-to-date with Diabetes in Schools newsletter.
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