Treating Diabetes At School: The Kit Parent's Need to Know About

Kim Benjet Health Guide
  • In the next few weeks, children across the U.S. will return to school.


    When school supplies fill the shelves at the pharmacy, it's always been a signal for me to double up on diabetes supplies and put together the diabetes boxes for the classroom and nurse's office. We are entering our sixth year in school with diabetes. Our son was diagnosed midway through pre-kindergarten, and we've done the below routine six times at three different schools.


    Here's what we do, and I'd love to hear from other parents about what they pack when their children return to school. I would also like to hear from school nurses about what they like to see in the supplies for a child with diabetes.

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    The "Boxes"


    Our "Nurse Box" is a clear plastic shoe box purchased at Linen's and Things or The Container Store. Taped inside is a picture of my son and our emergency numbers. Here's what's inside:

    1. Glucagon
    2. Food for treating lows: bottle of glucose tablets, cake mate icing, juice boxes, and peanut butter crackers
    3. Blood glucose meter with strips and extra lancets. Extra strips for my son's cozmonitor.
    4. Alcohol wipes
    5. Insulin pen, needles and cartridges. My son wears a pump, but we always want a back-up way to give an injection if he has ketones or is running very high blood sugars.
    6. Two pump infusion sets, two cartridges, inserter and skin prep should the site need to be changed during the day. Extra battery for the pump.
    7. Ketone strips - preferably the individually wrapped kind, but I can't always get those.

    The "Classroom Box" is a smaller clear box again with a picture taped to the inside and our emergency numbers. It goes to my son's homeroom class where he spends most of his time.


    1. Food for treating lows: glucose tabs, cakemate icing, juice box, peanut butter crackers
    2. Blood glucose meter with strips and extra lancets
    3. A simple one-page description about what a low blood sugar might look like specific to my child and how to treat it. Included are directions for calling the nurse and a friendly reminder to allow unlimited water and bathroom breaks. We go over everything with the teacher, so the sheet is more of a reminder for a substitute teacher who will not get our full briefing. The regular teacher can always refer a sub to this sheet to quickly bring her up to date on diabetes basics.
Published On: August 20, 2007