Making Schools a Safer Place for Children with Diabetes
About one in every 400 children and teens in BC has diabetes. Since children and youth spend an average of seven hours a day at school, it’s important to ensure their safety while there. Child Health BC, an initiative of BC Children’s Hospital, is doing exactly that.
When a child with diabetes reaches school age, it can cause stress and concern for parents who fear that their child is not yet independent enough to identify the symptoms of diabetes complications like hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a dangerously low drop in blood sugar and can have fatal consequences. If a child experiences hypoglycemia at school, someone needs to be able to recognize this emergency and administer the proper treatment to the child. For many parents, a need to prevent hypoglycemia in their child can take a psychological toll.
Child Health BC recently released a report showing why diabetic children need extra care in school, along with what they need and who should provide it. In response to this report, the Ministries of Health, Education, and Children and Family Development have taken measures to give students with diabetes the extra support they need during school hours.
Since January 2014, designated school staff across BC have been trained in glucagon administration – the standard treatment for hypoglycemia.
“I’m very relieved. Although Cole is starting to recognize signs of low blood sugar himself, telling us when he’s hungry, it still makes me feel that much better knowing that this type of emergency treatment is available for him at school, should he ever need it,” says Lisa Price, whose five-year-old son Cole has type 1 diabetes. Thanks to Child Health BC, Lisa can now send Cole to school knowing that if he has a severe hypoglycemic reaction, someone will be trained to help him.
To read the complete Child Health BC report, please visit Child Health BC.