DIABETES IN CHILDREN: ROLE OF TEACHING TEACHERS
Children spend nearly half their waking hours at school and school heads and teachers should be told that a pupil has diabetes. Teachers should be given:
1. Precise details of the pupil’s dietary and treatment needs.
2. Clear instructions as to what to do should problems arise.
The British Diabetic association provides information folders for parents to give to schools. Most diabetic clinics are also happy to help in this way. It is important that every teacher who comes into contact with your child is taught about diabetes. This may mean speaking to fifteen to twenty teachers – and repeating the discussion each year as your child moves up in the school. Informing the teachers can be organized more efficiently through the principal. It also helps if your child’s classmates know about his or her diabetes, so that they understand why the extra food and injections are needed.
Janine is fifteen years old and has been diabetic for three years. For about a year her diabetes was very difficult to control. At that time she would have severe hypoglycemic episodes of which she had no warning. It was not unusual for her suddenly to fall to the ground unconscious, a very rare problem for people with diabetes. Her best friend at school, Sue, knew nothing about diabetes until she met Janine. Now Sue has learned to recognize an impending hypoglycemic attack and gives her friend glucose immediately.
During the bad year, Sue also calmly dealt with the more severe episodes, awakening Janine from coma by rubbing glucose tablets inside her mouth. She came to think of coping with Janine’s attacks as part of her daily routine and neither she nor their other school-friends were unduly disturbed by them.
Fortunately these bad hypoglycemic attacks stopped and Janine’s diabetes is now better controlled.
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