Managing Type 1 Diabetes at School

Important Resources for School Staff

Written by Amy Hess-Fischl MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDE

Type 1 diabetes requires constant attention—it doesn't go away during school hours. That's why it's essential that school staff, including teachers, bus drivers, and school health personnel, understand the needs of their students with type 1 diabetes to ensure that school is a safe and healthy environment.

More than 13,000 young people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year.1 Because the disease is so common in young children, it's important that schools have at least some staff members who have a basic understanding of type 1 diabetes. Having a school worker on hand who knows how to check blood glucose, inject insulin, and choose an appropriate snack when blood glucose levels are low provides an enormous amount of security to parents.

Resources for Parents and School Staff
Children with type 1 diabetes rely on both parents and school officials to ensure that their condition is managed at school. That's a big responsibility for parents and school workers, but fortunately, there are resources available to help make your child's school conducive to managing type 1 diabetes.

Laws Protecting Your Child with Type 1 Diabetes
As a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes, you should be aware of the federal laws that protect your child at school. Below are brief overviews of these laws. The descriptions also include links to connect you to more detailed information.

Also note that specific states and individual school districts have laws and rules regarding a school's responsibility for its students with type 1 diabetes. Visit your state's education website and/or contact your school district to learn more about the laws and regulations that protect your child at school when he or she has type 1 diabetes. You can also contact your local ADA and JDRF offices for more information.



  1. Helping the Student with Type 1 Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel. National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a joint program of the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: June 2003. Accessed April 12, 2010.

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