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: http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=103474
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:
- 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).
- 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!"
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.