The Science on Food, Nutrition & Brewery

Are There Enough School Nurses for Diabetic Children?

More than 150,000 people who have diabetes in the United States of America are below the age of puberty. This means that around 1 in 400 children who are currently enrolled in school have diabetes which can be very alarming. [1]

These children need medical attention especially when their parents are not around. Especially at times when the children are at school.

Sure, there is training for the “other nurses”…but that raises concerns.

The training includes how to swiftly and correctly respond when a child with diabetes needs special attention, who may not be able to have any sugar or natural fruits like Coleus forskohlii (forskolin). The trained employees can administer insulin to diabetic children.

People with diabetes particularly children must take injections daily. Moreover, they must monitor their glucose content in the blood several times a day. They must do this to avoid life threatening complications that may arise from abnormal glucose content in the blood. Abnormal content in the blood can come from over and under production of glucose content in the body.

Children showing physical signs of hypoglycemia can be treated with first aid. The first aid can include hydration of sweetened drinks like juice and other non-caffeinated drinks. For better results, candy can be placed inside the mouth of a child for faster absorption of the body. If a child is not properly medicated, seizures can occur and on other serious occasions can lead to coma. [2]

On rare occasions, a child who is unresponsive must be given a hormone called glucagon. The glucagon must be injected through the bloodstream to increase its effectiveness. Proper medical and healthcare professionals must be called fast to avoid further complications.

Glucagon is a hormone that is naturally occurring in the pancreas. Along with a hormone produced by the beta cells, the insulin partners with glucagon to control the glucose content on a patient’s blood. [3]

It has been continuously lobbied and promoted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) that each school which has at least one diabetic student to train three employees for the responsibility of giving first aid. The first aid includes carefully diagnosing and treating the children showing signs of hypoglycemia. [4]

The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) supports the sufficient training of the school employees. The training teaches the school personnel to be aware of the needs of the children suffering from diabetes. [5]

There are states where the law allows the nurses to train personnel to perform task allotted for licensed medical practitioners. The UFT fully supports this move only if the training is supervised by a licensed school nurse. However, they fully denounce if the people responsible for the said training are people with authority in school facilities like the principal.

However, there are also states where they don’t permit the performance of critical medical task other than licensed and certified medical professional. Violation of these regulations can cause sanctions on the school and its staff. Charges can also be filed against them by the district attorney

In conclusion, not a single child should be subjected to a quality of healthcare that is substandard because he/she is in a educational institution. All children in school should be given appropriate medical attention by a full time medical practitioner such as licensed nurse.

The best solution for this is the allotment of funds for the employment of a fully capable and experienced nurse.


[1 ] American Diabetes Association (August 2013). Data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Diabetes Basic. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/.

[2 ] The Wikimedia Foundation (November 2013). Complications of Diabetes Melittus. Diabetes. Mechanism of Acute Complications. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complications_of_diabetes_mellitus.

[3] Medicine Net (July 2001). Drug Class and Mechanism. Glucagon. Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/glucagon/article.htm

[4] Allday E. (August 2013). Ruling lets school staff give insulin to students. Hearst Newspapers. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Ruling-lets-school-staff-give-insulin-to-students-4726630.php

[5] United Federation of Teachers (2013). Caring for Diabetic Children in the Classroom. School Safety. http://www.uft.org/our-rights/caring-diabetic-children-classroom

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