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5 additions to your back-to-school-with-diabetes supply list

You've got the DMMP and the 504 or IEP down.* You've filled a "low box" with snacks and hypo treatments to keep at school—and stashed some in the backpack. And you've met with school staff. So what else can you keep on hand for the challenges of the new year?

  1. Books for friends. Younger kids may want to share diabetes-themed picture books or printed coloring sheets with friends, so they can understand why your child eats extra snacks, checks blood sugar or leaves the room throughout the day. Ask the teacher if you can distribute materials to the whole classroom.
  2. A Blue Friday plan. Whether it's just once or every Friday, introduce the Blue Fridays idea at school and let everyone be a part of diabetes awareness. This is the kind of positive event that helps people rally around a cause. Find out more about the movement on the Blue Fridays community Facebook page.
  3. Less-expected stuff. Of course you need testing supplies. But what about a digital watch set with testing reminders. A special stuffed animal to hold for fingertip checks. Stickers and love notes for those carb counts in the lunch bag. Anything that makes care better for your child makes care better.
  4. A window into their blood glucose. Sending a child off to kindergarten or a teenager to high school with diabetes can be maddening—if only you could see how they were doing. Well, maybe you can. One of the greatest advantages of the Accu-Chek® Guide meter with the Accu-Chek Connect app is the peace of mind that comes from receiving an auto-generated text with the results when your child performs a blood glucose check.
  5. Honey. Not literal honey for lows, but patience and politeness. Remember the adage about "catching more flies with honey than vinegar?" Think about how long it took for you to learn the ropes. Then think about how you react when someone speaks to you in anger.

Diabetes probably won't be new to the school nurse, but it may be for a coach, bus driver or teacher. There are a lot of people out there who have never seen an insulin pump or watched a child check their blood sugar. So take a deep breath and stick to the high road. You're almost guaranteed to get better results from up there.

*Diabetes medical management plan, 504 plan and individual education plan. If you haven't nailed these down, JDRF and the American Diabetes Association can give you great direction.

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