Diabetes Forecast

Diabetes and Child Care

How to keep kids with diabetes safe in child care settings

young children on floor in circle with books


Young children with diabetes, like many kids in the United States, may require child care. Programs that are “public accommodations” open to the public or that receive federal funds cannot refuse to accept your child just because he or she has diabetes. But discrimination does occur. Legal protections, education, and open communication between parents and programs help ensure fairness and keep kids safe. In October, the American Diabetes Association published guidelines focused on the care and legal protections for young children with diabetes. The Association’s statement stresses that parents and guardians, child care staff, and health care providers all play important roles in protecting young ones with diabetes.

Here are important to-dos for parents and guardians:

1. Ask your child’s health care provider to work with you to prepare a written care plan, or a Diabetes Medical Management Plan, for your child.

This lays out the medical orders that the provider prescribes for your child’s care. For example, a DMMP addresses the specific needs of your child and provides instructions for blood glucose monitoring, including frequency and situations requiring blood glucose checks.

2. Review the care plan with the child care program to figure out how your child’s diabetes needs.

Examples include blood glucose monitoring, insulin dosing and glucagon injections, and treatment for low and high blood glucose levels.

3. Be sure to provide the program with all diabetes supplies.

These include devices, test strips, equipment, snacks, insulin, glucagon, and an appropriate container for the disposal of sharps.

4. Be a resource for the child care program.

Provide training and help in locating a diabetes educator who can also train staff.

5. Make sure all child care staff members who interact with your child receive basic diabetes information.

This includes training about how to recognize blood glucose emergencies and who to contact for help.

6. Verify that at lease one staff member is trained to care for your child.

Also make sure that trained individual is present to give your child insulin and glucagon and check blood glucose.

7. Get to know the federal and state laws.

Be familiar with laws that protect your child’s right to receive fair treatment and safely participate in a child care program.

8. Maintain records of your communication with the program about your child’s care.

Keep a log of all relevant conversations with child care staff, including names and dates, and save all documents—including e-mails, letters, and notes.

Questions about diabetes in day care?

Call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) for free information and to speak with a legal advocate about your child’s rights in child care settings. See resources at diabetes.org/childcare.



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