Fighting for a CURE!

Fighting for a CURE!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Type 1 Emergency Planning

So being on the East Coast and in light of today's earthquake events, it has me seriously thinking about what would we do if this earthquake had been worse? Here in the DMV, we don't get much excitement so when we got this 5.9 quake, a light bulb went off. What if my son was in school? We all know that no one would take care of your child like you would, then add about 5000 or more students & teachers to the mix and it makes for a stressed T1 child & VERY WORRIED PARENTS. I mean..... I can only imagine how many responsibility's these teachers/nurses/etc.... already have, then adding a child with T1 to it, makes for a very rough situation.

We all know that a child with T1 his/hers blood sugar can drop in a instant due to stress, this is why it is utterly important to talk with your child and school to come up with a emergency plan. This situation should already be on your 504 plan, if you do not have one, PLEASE make one, if you have one, PLEASE make sure it has an emergency plan stated.

What is a 504 plan? It is legal documentation that the public school system MUST avid by, this plan is worked out by the parents/schooling system to make sure your T1 child's needs are met. Some examples from our 504 are, BS testing before major tests, to ensure glucose levels are within normal range, if not, allows for more time to take the test. Snack schedules, breaks for water, etc... I can't stress enough that 504 plans are absolutely necessary. If you have not created a 504  plan for your child and would like to find out more information, please visit:

Now..... back to emergency planning, in today's world it's unfortunately not to unimaginable to have some sort of disaster. I mean.... we see it everyday on the news, unlikely, but still a probability. I know I would like to be prepared for it. How about you? So here are some guidelines to help you prepare & hopefully you will never have to use.

In an evacuation situation, school nurses are trained to carry an emergency backpack with health paperwork and supplies. However, what if your class in on lock-down? This leaves 1 or 2 scared teachers with 15-20 scared students. This is where your planning can make a HUGE difference in your T1 child's safety.

Here is what I purpose:

  1. Sit down with your spouse (or friend) and devise a written plan. Make sure you two have thought of every possible scenario. School lock-down (ability to be with the nurse), Classroom lock-down (only with teacher or even a substitute) Fire alarm, staying outside in the hot/cold weather, Earthquake (in these events especially us here on the east coast, we have no experience with this, so everyone is in freak out mode).
  2. This plan should include supplies your child should have with them at all times (i.e. BS monitor, test strips, glucagon, insulin, syringes, snacks, water) emergency numbers, maybe even a note that they are not to open unless there is an emergency, within the note make it short, sweet & to the point. "Stay calm, remember all we talked about and you will be just fine, love you!"
  3. Now hoping your child is old enough to understand, (if not I highly recommend taking this written plan to the teacher & make sure he/she keeps it out for any substitute with a picture of your child so he/she is easily identified) (Props to Teresa on Stop Juvenile Diabetes FB page for the picture suggestion) talk to your child, explain these possible scenarios, tell them your written plan & put a more simplified written plan & all supplies and all the above in their backpack.
  4. TALK...TALK...TALK to your child about this over & over again, once a week, once a month at most, so if this ever becomes a reality your child will remember what he/she must do.
  5. Find a friend in class that he/she can stick with just in case of these emergencies & tell them some of the signs on low blood sugar so they can help in anyway. My son is 10 & I understand this method can't be used for all, but a friend regardless of understanding or not is always a secured method, feeling of not being alone.
Now my son does have a cell phone he carries with him to school. However, in today's events where cell phones weren't working and I couldn't get a hold of anyone these devices are useless. This is where all your hard work and planning become extremely valuable, now I know that nothing can stop a parent from worrying, it's inevitable. However, with these plans, talks & preparation will lead to more organization & less of a guessing game and when you finally become reunited with your child, they can look at you can say (with a sense of excitement) "I did everything we talked about!!!!" & you can walk away and finally breath!

I hope I got you thinking, even if it helps one person I have done my job. Now... in a motherly way I hope none of these emergency planning is necessary, but reality strikes and wares it's ugly head so we must be prepared.