Diabetes does not stop you from participating fully in school life. Of course, there are aspects of school life that can affect your diabetes, such as sports, break times, school camps and exams. But these can be managed, as long as you make that your school knows about your diabetes, so they can help you manage it and you can get the best out of your time at school.
Telling your teacher
“I let the detention supervisor know I have diabetes—now I’m the only one allowed to eat in detention!” (Zoe, age 16)
It is important to tell your teacher(s) that you have diabetes. This will only help you. You will need to eat at regular intervals to control your blood glucose levels. This is essential both before and after exercise, once you have checked your blood glucose levels. That’s why your teacher needs to know that you are doing this for your health, not because you are hungry or to annoy them. They will also need to know what to look out for if you have a hypo.
Read more in our fact sheet Managing hypoglycaemia.
Telling Your Friends
“I was low and slurring my words. My friend thought I was in serious trouble. But, really, I just had hypo lollies in my mouth.” (Holly, age 18)
Don’t think you have to tell everyone at school about your diabetes, but, it is a good idea to tell a couple of close friends, so they can watch out for you. Tell them what happens to you when you have a hypo and what symptoms they should look out for. You may feel a bit embarrassed about people at school knowing about your diabetes, but it could be even more embarrassing and dangerous (and very frightening for your friends) if you have a hypo and they don’t know what to do to help.
Things to do at school
Funniest moment? “Teachers telling me off for using my ‘mobile phone’ in class when I was using my pump!” (Zoe, Age 15)
- Your routine at school may need to be a little different from that of other students. You may find you need to eat or go to the toilet more often, as well as having to measure your blood glucose levels and inject insulin.
- Keep a little hypo kit on you all the time, so it’s there if you need it (and remember to restock it afterwards).
- There are usually special provisions for students with diabetes when it comes to exams—this may be as basic as being allowed to take food to an exam so you can keep your blood glucose levels regulated.