Safe at School statement of principles

Reproduced from the American Diabetes Association Safe at School Statement of Principles

Diabetes must be managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Effective diabetes management during the many hours a child with diabetes spends at school and school-related activities is vital to the short- and long-term health of a child living with diabetes.

Effective diabetes management is crucial:

  • for the immediate safety of students with diabetes;
  • for the long-term health of students with diabetes;
  • to ensure that students with diabetes are ready to learn and to participate fully in school activities; and
  • to minimize the possibility that diabetes-related emergencies will disrupt classroom activities.

Such management requires a team effort that includes school personnel, the student with diabetes, the student's parents/guardians, and the family's health care providers.

The undersigned organizations endorse the following principles to ensure diabetes is properly managed whenever a child with diabetes is present at school or a school-related activity.

  1. All school staff members who have responsibility for a student with diabetes should receive training that provides a basic understanding of the disease and the student’s needs, how to identify medical emergencies, and which school staff members to contact with questions or in case of an emergency.

  2. The school nurse holds a primary role of coordinating, monitoring, and supervising the care of a student with diabetes. However, in addition to any full- or part-time school nurse, a small group of school staff members should receive training from a qualified health care professional in routine and emergency diabetes care so that a staff member is always available for younger or less-experienced students who require assistance with their diabetes management (e.g., administering insulin, checking their blood glucose, choosing appropriate food) and for all students with diabetes in case of an emergency (including administration of glucagon). These staff members should be school personnel who have volunteered to do these tasks and do not need to be health care professionals.

  3. Children possessing the necessary skills and maturity to do so should be permitted to self-manage their disease in the classroom or wherever they are in conjunction with a school-related activity. Such self-management should include monitoring blood glucose and responding to blood glucose levels with needed food and medication while utilizing appropriate safety protocols.

Organizations endorsing the Safe at School Statement of Principles

American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
American Association of Diabetes Educators
American Diabetes Association
American Dietetic Association
Children with Diabetes
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society
Pediatrics Endocrine Nursing Society