Insulin is a hormone that regulates glucose levels

For people with type 1 diabetes, the body no longer makes insulin. It’s essential that they take insulin every day to live.

Insulin cannot be swallowed like a tablet. It has to be injected or given via an insulin pump. Many young people with type 1 diabetes will need to have an injection of insulin at lunchtime; this will likely be delivered using an insulin pen. Some young people will be able to do this for themselves, others may need supervision or assistance. It is important that this injection is taken on time prior to food if it is recommended at this time of the day.

Some people will use an insulin pump. This is an expensive, small computerised device. It delivers insulin automatically and continuously 24 hours a day. This occurs via a small cannula that sits under the skin and through a thin tube that runs from this site to the pump device. Extra doses of insulin are given at meal-times and when blood glucose levels are high by entering information into the pump. Young people may need assistance or supervision with this task depending on their age and developmental stage.

The student’s clinical treating team will prescribe and outline specific insulin support needs for a student in their school diabetes management plan. This will include details about how and when the student gives insulin and the degree of assistance they may need from school staff.