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Back-to-School Tips Round Up From Our Community

You might remember that last year we did our very first “Back-to-School” Contest [1] with our Facebook community. The premise was simple: tell us your best back-to-school tip and you could be a winner. Three winners were selected but narrowing it down was TOUGH because there were so many informational and insightful tips from our community. Since it’s that time of year and we’re entering back-to-school season again, we wanted to do a round up of some of the tips submitted through our contest last year.

Elementary School

“I meet with my son’s teachers and new staff each year. I also prepare a folder each year with his basal rates, carb ratio, diagnosed date, type of insulin, type of insulin pump, emergency numbers for parents, and his doctor’s school plan, etc. in case of an emergency. The folders are given to the school secretary, principal, nurse and classroom teachers. I also send a carb sheet each day for the nurse so she will know how many carbs Ryan is having at each meal. If Ryan feels his sugar level dropping he holds up his arm and signs the letter “N” for nurse and the teacher nods for him to leave the room so no interruption in the class room. We also have snacks in the classrooms in case of low blood sugars, as well in the nurse’s office. We also carry glucose tablets in his backpack while he is on the school bus.” – Stacey Bennett

“Try to stay sane and remember to let your kids be kids. They only live once and their time as children will go so fast. Keep them as healthy as possible with the pump and infusion sets every 2-2.5 days. Don’t forget to give them a hug before they get on the bus :-)” – Roy Moreau

“When my son was younger and in elementary school, we had a communication notebook that went back and forth from home to school each day so that we as parents could let the nurse and teachers know if anything was out of the ordinary in the morning and the nurse would log all info each day (sugars, food, insulin, variations in schedules/routines/snacks etc.) It created an open line of communication and there was never a question as to what happened during the day while he was away from home.” – Trisia Hughes

Junior High/High School

“During the first week, let every teacher [know] that you are diabetic. Also inform the principal, or dean of your school, etc – that way they will all be aware of the issue, and if you “get caught eating or drinking” in class, you have a pre-arranged explanation.” – Brock Moore

“Set your pump to vibrate. This isn’t to prevent the noise disturbing the rest of the class, it’s because classrooms are noisy places and the vibration is harder to miss.” – Bode Gibbs

“My daughter carries a large, zebra pencil pouch with her to all of her junior high classes…..except instead of pencils, it contains her meter, snack, sugar tablets and sometimes even a small juice box. It blends in with all of her other school supplies, but keeps all her necessities handy. Every year I let her choose a new one so it adds a tiny bit of fun to a routine part of her day!” – Lisa Peretin


“My son is off to college this year so I say make a trip to the doctor and get prescriptions for a three month supply and send all supplies and medicine with your child. Call a local Doctor who can care for your child while they are away. Call the Resident hall adviser and let them know your child is a diabetic. Make it as easy as possible for your child to deal with their diabetes as going away to college is stressful enough.” – Sandy Wilson

“My best back-to-school tip for students is: Educate your new roommates about type 1 diabetes! I recently moved into a new apartment with friends. I asked the three of them if it was okay that I give them a quick lesson on Type 1 Diabetes 101. I requested that I have my own shelf and drawer in the refrigerator as well as shelves in the kitchen cabinet. I can’t really share my food because it’s very important in managing my diabetes. I explained to them where to find my glucagon pen and how to use it. I reviewed symptoms for hypoglycemia, etc. and I told them that usually juice or candy will solve the issue quickly and that glucagon pen was for emergencies. I asked them if I slept in on a school day to come into my room and wake me if I was sleeping. If I wake up grumpy or irritated – don’t take it personally – my blood glucose level is probably low and after I eat things should be okay. I also asked them to help me recruit members for the JDRF Walk to A Cure fundraiser! And I asked them to remind me to test – I can always use a reminder!” – Dino Fiore

“Being in college, I have noticed that it is sometimes harder to have access to extra supplies when all you have is your own backpack and not the nurse’s office. So I keep a little cloth bag in my backpack that has diabetes supplies in it, such as extra strips, extra infusion set, and definitely extra snacks. Snacks are one thing I usually run out of. And one easy snack I have discovered are rice krispie treats. They can withstand any squishing and heat and cold. Juices work well too and haven’t had any problems with those either. But I am usually good on supplies if I check this bag every night and repack for the next day. And I keep my meter in one of my side pockets for easy access during class. And this way, anything I need will always be with me!” – Breeann Foran

I learned some new things that will help me as I start my last year of college this week and I hope you learned something too! Have your own tips? Let us know in the comments, we’re listening!