The Rights of the Child with Diabetes in the School

Reproduced from the International Diabetes Federation The Rights of the Child with Diabetes in the School

Position Statement - Rights of Child with Diabetes in the School

The Rights of the Child with Diabetes in the School

March 2005

As a global advocate for all people with diabetes, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is concerned about the situation of children with diabetes, especially in their school environment. IDF holds the position that children and adolescents must be able to manage their diabetes in the school setting without being excluded or discriminated.

Appropriate diabetes care is required for children in order for them to be safe, to improve their long-term well being and to achieve their academic potential. Arrangements must be made for all school programmes taking place before, during and after lessons and performed on the school grounds, as well as for all school-sponsored activities that take place off the school campus.

IDF advocates that children must have the right to manage their diabetes at school. This includes the right to:

  • Monitor blood glucose levels 
  • Follow a regular meal plan 
  • Participate in physical activity programmes 
  • Take medications
  • Treat emergency situations

Children unable to perform self-management should have the right to receive appropriate supervision and to be aided in diabetes management tasks. To ensure safety, school personnel must have an understanding of diabetes, and there must be individuals trained in relevant aspects of diabetes care and the treatment of diabetes emergencies. Diabetes management must be allowed to occur in the least restrictive environment and without discrimination. 

For appropriate diabetes care of students the following conditions are necessary:

A Diabetes Healthcare Plan must be devised in collaboration with healthcare providers, school personnel, the parent/guardian and the student. The following components must be addressed in the Diabetes Healthcare Plan:

  • Blood glucose monitoring, including frequency and circumstances of testing
  • Administration of medication, including insulin, with specific reference to doses, timing of injections, and storage
  • Meals and snacks, including quality and quantity of food portions
  • Prevention of hypoglycaemia
  • The urgent treatment of hypoglycaemia, including the administration of glucagon for severe hypoglycaemia (if available)
  • Hyperglycemia, including treatment in the school
  • Testing for ketones and sick day management
  • Management of emergencies

Responsibilities and cooperation of various stakeholders:

  • The parent/guardian is responsible for transmitting the Diabetes Healthcare Plan to the school, and for bringing diabetes supplies, an emergency plan, and diabetes information to the school.
  • The school is responsible for training of an adequate number of personnel, for accessibility to supplies (particularly for hypoglycemic emergencies), and for supervision or execution of diabetes tasks so that the Diabetes Healthcare Plan can be carried out.
  • The student is encouraged to perform the tasks that are appropriate for his/her age and developmental stage and to actively cooperate with school personnel.
IDF encourages all measures and actions that contribute to a better management of diabetes in the school. IDF recommends a cooperative and collaborative approach by all stakeholders to ensure that children with diabetes are able to manage their diabetes in the school setting without being excluded or discriminated.