Are children with type 1 diabetes safe at school? Examining parent perceptions

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Abstract

Objective:

To describe parent perceptions of children's diabetes care at school including: availability of licensed health professionals; staff training; logistics of provision of care; and occurrence and treatment of hypo- and hyperglycemia; and to examine parents' perceptions of their children's safety and satisfaction in the school environment.

Research design and methods:

A survey was completed by parents of children with type 1 diabetes from permissive (trained, non-medical school personnel permitted to provide diabetes care; N = 237) and non-permissive (only licensed health care professionals permitted to provide diabetes care; N = 198) states.

Results:

Most parents reported that schools had nurses available for the school day; teachers and coaches should be trained; nurses, children, and parents frequently provided diabetes care; and hypo- and hyperglycemia occurred often. Parents in permissive states perceived children to be as safe and were as satisfied with care as parents in non-permissive states.

Conclusions:

Training non-medical staff will probably maximize safety of children with diabetes when a school nurse is not available.

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