Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in children and young people in the UK, with around 29,000 living with the condition.
Causes of diabetes
- Diabetes is a condition where there is an imbalance between the insulin and the glucose in the human body.
- There are two types of diabetes, type 1 which is insulin dependent and type 2 which is non insulin dependent.
- Insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, enables cells to absorb glucose (sugar) in order to turn it into energy.
- Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough, or does not properly respond to insulin.
- This causes glucose to accumulate in the blood leading to various potential complications.
Symptoms of diabetes
- Weight loss
- Frequent urination
Symptoms more typical in children and young people
- Stomach pains
- Behaviour problems
Treatments for diabetes
- Good diet and healthy eating
- Regular exercise
- Regular insulin injections
- The overall aim is to maintain near normal blood sugars.
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Take regular exercise
- As type 2 diabetes can get progressively worse over time it may be necessary to take medication. (This will normally be in the form of tablets, but can sometimes require insulin injections.
- An individual healthcare plan should be drawn up in consultation with the student, parent/carer and the medical professionals.
- Draw up a plan for administering insulin.
- This should be agreed with parents/carers and the medical professionals.
- The school nurse is an important part of the team.
- Help with managing diet and exercise may be useful.
- This can be discussed as part of the individual healthcare plan.
- A student may need to test blood glucose levels before and after physical activity and have a snack if necessary.
- If the activity is prolonged, they may need to test and/or have a snack during the lesson.
- A sugary drink or glucose tablets kept nearby will be helpful if a student experiences a hypo.
- It’s important that students are included in all aspects of school.
- As part of the risk assessment consideration must be given to the management of insulin injections and the need to stick to established mealtimes.
Managing a crisis at school
- It is vital to identify a designated person trained to deal with a crisis.
- The named and trained person should lead on the plan agreed and detailed in a student's individual healthcare plan (IHP).
- This should detail what needs to be done in the case of a student experiencing high or low blood glucose count.
- It should also detail when additional medical support is required.
Diabetes UK provides information and advice for people with diabetes.
A website designed for children and young people living with Type 1 diabetes. Full of accessible information, games and advice.