March 2011

School Guide Teaches ABCs of Diabetes

School-age children with diabetes face unique challenges. They may be vulnerable to serious swings in their blood glucose levels at any time. A newly updated booklet, “Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel,” can help. The guide offers suggestions for parents, teachers, principals and others to ensure the safety of these kids.

Diabetes is one of the most common long-term diseases in school-age children. It affects about 200,000 young people nationwide. Most students with diabetes must carefully monitor and control their blood glucose throughout the day. A severe drop in glucose levels can be life-threatening.

The guide urges parents to notify school officials that a child has diabetes. Parents are encouraged to partner with the child’s health care team to develop a diabetes medical management plan. The guide recommends that parents give permission for medical information to be shared by the school and health care team.

”Unfortunately, the need to manage diabetes doesn’t go away at school,” says Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, director of NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “The guide, quite literally, can be a lifesaver.”

To view, download or order a free copy of the guide, go to, or call the National Diabetes Education Program at 1-888-693-6337.