Over 215,000 people under the age of 20 have diabetes, with most of those with diabetes type 1. Although there are no ways to prevent Type 1 diabetes from happening, it does represent a problem for kids suffering from it. There are a number of different of issues that treating diabetes can raise, especially in an era where schools are proud of their reputations when it comes to fighting drugs. Look at from a teacher’s perspective: You see a kid carefully measure out a drug and then inject himself with it, followed by him carefully packing the needle away. It’s far too easy to jump to the obvious conclusion.
The good news is that most schools already have solutions in place to help kids deal with their diabetes. They provide places where the kid can test his blood sugar as well as inject his insulin in peace, usually in the office or with the school nurse. All that takes is the parent talking to the administration and setting things in place. Usually that is all that is required, and the kid usually doesn’t need to worry about anyone having a problem with him maintaining his own health.
However, the staff should be educated about the differences between a kid shooting up and a kid injecting insulin, and to be aware of the difference. This is includes not only the teachers and other people that work at the school but also security guards and substitute teachers; any such programs must be mentioned in whatever orientation the school has in order to prevent misunderstandings, such as finding needles in a diabetic kid’s backpack versus that of one that uses drugs.
This also means that there needs to be a safe way to get the insulin inside the school as needed; insulin may be dangerous to those without diabetes, but it does fetch a pretty good price so someone may be tempted to steal it. Other paraphernalia may also be stolen, especially the syringes, by those that do drugs. One suggestion is to have the parent leave a blood-testing kit at the beginning of the school year with the school nurse and then insulin as needed. This should allow the kid to circumvent anyone who would want to rob him.
Diabetes is a very serious disease that can be handled as long as there is some thinking ahead. It’s even easier when everyone is helping out.