Teenagers

Diabetes at Secondary School

Secondary school, also known as high school, fills some of us with a sense of anxiety especially when it involves changing classes and making new friends.

The most important aspect is to make sure your school knows about your diabetes and knows how to help you manage your diabetes.

Support at school

It’s important the school is made aware that you have diabetes so that you get all the support you need.

An Individual Healthcare Plan can be drawn up between you, your parents, the school and your diabetes nurse to agree on what support you’ll receive in school.

The plan will ensure that your teachers know enough about your diabetes such as that you may need to check your blood sugar levels by doing a blood test or taking carbohydrate if you need to treat or prevent a hypo.

Getting diagnosed whilst in secondary school

Being diagnosed with diabetes will always come as a shock (it’s a rare person who isn’t shocked to some extent). It may take some time to adjust to your new treatment regime and your friends may need help in understanding what diabetes is too.

Moving up to secondary school with diabetes

If you have had diabetes before secondary school, you may feel some anxiety about settling into a new school and a new class.

Being diagnosed with diabetes will always come as a shock (it’s a rare person who isn’t shocked to some extent).

It may take some time to adjust to your new treatment regime and your friends may need help in understanding what diabetes is too.

Telling people about your diabetes

It’s natural to be a bit worried about whether people will treat you any different knowing you have diabetes but it’s rare for friendships to be negatively affected by diabetes and sometimes a condition like diabetes can make friendships stronger.

Some people can be insensitive. Sometimes it can be through ignorance and other times it may be that they’re lacking in social skills (in other words, being mean). These days there is a lot of information to hand to help explain what diabetes is and what it’s not.

In summary, don’t be afraid to let people know about your diabetes, just be well prepared in case people have questions, as it’s more than likely they will be interested.

Can I eat in lessons or exams

If you diabetes and are at risk of hypoglycaemia, it is important that you have sweets, glucose tablets and other sources of carbohydrate available in lessons and exams.

Diabetes won’t sadly give you a right to eat whenever you want but it does that mean that if your blood sugar levels are low you should be excused to be able to take glucose.

You should agree with your school how this will be managed.

Diabetes and detention

Unless agreed otherwise, it is likely that any detention will need to be attended. In some cases, a detention may prove to be problematic for your diabetes control, such and if it prevents you from having your normal lunch or a scheduled injection.

For this reaso, it is best to agree detention arrangements before one happens. Even if your own behaviour is exceptional, it has been known for a whole class to be detained at once.

Diabetes and school trips

Having diabetes should not be a barrier for attendance in school trips or other extra-curricular activities.

Your school should ensure that staff on the trip know about your diabetes and how to support you. If you have any questions or worries about the trip, ask the staff at the earliest opportunity as this will save having to be anxious for too long.

Make sure you know where your testing kit, medication and hypo treatments are throughout the trip and that you can access them easily if you need to.

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