Following a new diagnosis of type 1 diabetes the parents or carers of a child are their primary support

Parents or carers need to manage decisions about their child’s health care and schooling at a time that can be highly stressful and overwhelming. Parents or carers are the primary point of contact for most young people with diabetes and make decisions about their care and treatment.

What parents or carers might need

Once a young person has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, parents/carers need:

  • clear, easy to understand information on diabetes management and the steps to getting their child back to school
  • advice and support from the clinical treating team, who will prepare a diabetes management plan and provide education to help the parents or carers manage their child’s type 1 diabetes and treatment regime
  • medical equipment and other supplies such as medication, which is required for the daily management and treatment of type 1 diabetes
  • understanding and support from principals and school staff, and a willingness on their part to learn, particularly if diabetes management and other supports, such as insulin administration, are new to the school.

What parents or carers should do

To ensure that their child’s type 1 diabetes is effectively managed in the school environment parents or carers should:

  • communicate and work with the clinical treating team to develop a diabetes management plan for their child
  • inform the school when their child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, or inform your child’s new school of their type 1 diabetes when transitioning schools.
  • communicate and work with the school principal and/or designated staff to agree on a plan for how the school can implement the diabetes management plan to support their child in the school environment
  • work with the school principal and/or designated staff to agree upon the adjustments required in the school environment to support their child’s participation and engagement in school and educational activities
  • give consent that authorises school staff to help and support their child with type 1 diabetes management during school times, including insulin administration where relevant
  • give consent to health professionals and school staff to communicate with each other and other relevant agencies (such as the state or territory education department) about their child’s type 1 diabetes needs, so far as is necessary to allow the school to provide support to manage the young person’s type 1 diabetes
  • keep the school updated about any changes to the diabetes management plan, including changes to the child’s condition or treatment needs and provide a copy of the updated plan to the school when this occurs
  • ensure that their children are provided with the necessary supplies to manage their type 1 diabetes during school times, including, for example, insulin, blood glucose testing equipment, food and hypo kits.