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Going to School When You Have Diabetes

If you have diabetes, there are some things you need to do every day to stay healthy, even when you’re at school. You might have to check your blood sugar levels, take medicines, and eat or drink when other kids don’t. Find out who can help you and ways to make your school year go more smoothly.

Who Can Help Me at School With My Diabetes?

Your teachers, school nurse, and coach are ready to support you. They can:

  • Help you follow your diabetes care plan. Your care plan says how to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. It tells you how often to check your blood sugar, have a snack, or take medicine. The plan might have tips for ways to feel good in gym class or at recess.
  • Stay in contact with your parent. It’s a good idea for a parent to meet with your teachers at the beginning of the school year to explain about diabetes and your care plan. They can give a copy of the plan to the school to keep on file. That way adults at school will know how to handle any problems.
  • Assist you if you don’t feel well. Depending on what you need, they might give you a snack or call the nurse.

What Can I Do to Stay Well at School With Diabetes?

To take care of yourself at school, do these things:

  • Keep a diabetes to-go kit. You’ll always have your medicines, testing supplies, snacks, and water when you need it.
  • Speak up if you don’t feel well. Tell the teacher or coach what’s going on, even if you’re in the middle of taking a test or doing an activity.
  • Drink water and eat snacks as needed. If you need special permission to carry a water bottle or have snacks, ask your parent or care team to help.
  • Wear an ID necklace or bracelet that says you have diabetes. The ID will give others important information in case of an emergency.

Be sure to let a parent know if you don’t feel well during the school day. It might be time to follow up with your doctor.

How Do I Talk to Classmates About Diabetes?

You don't have to tell all the kids at school that you have diabetes. But you might want your close friends to know. You can say something simple like: "I have diabetes. That means I have to check the sugar in my blood and take medicine. If I don't do it, I'll get sick."

Some friends may have questions or want to help because they care about you and want to look out for you.

Some kids might tease you or give you a hard time. If that happens, try giving a short explanation about diabetes to help them understand. If they don’t stop, talk with an adult at school, like a teacher, a nurse, or a counselor. And let a parent know too. They’ll help you figure out the best way to handle it.

Reviewed by: Melanie L. Pitone, MD
Date Reviewed: Jan 12, 2024

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