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How to create safe spaces in schools for kids with diabetes

Kids spend half their lives at school, but how do we create safe spaces in schools for kids with diabetes? How can we ensure they feel safe and understood? Here’s all the best advice we could find, from diabetes organisations around the world.

Diabetes Australia – Safe Schools Programme

Diabetes Australia has a Safe Schools Programme with information for parents, principals, students, school staff and health professionals. Check it out here!

“When you are living with diabetes it’s important that you tell your teachers and teaching assistants so they can look after you properly at school.  Your friends probably don’t know much about diabetes and will be interested to hear what you have to say about it too.”

Diabetes Australia Safe Schools Programme

Here are some helpful videos from Diabetes Australia:

Creating safe spaces in schools for kids with diabetes: IDF

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has a whole programme for kids with diabetes. It’s called KiDS, and you can download it below.

Bringing diabetes education and healthy habits to schools.


The global impact of KiDS

KiDS resources have been brought to the classroom in over 10 countries worldwide, engaging over 340,000 children and 19,800 teachers in 2100 schools. Check it out here!

The aim of the KiDS programme is to bring diabetes education to schools to fight diabetes-related stigma and promote healthy lifestyles to tackle the preventable risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.

ADA: Safe at Schools Programme

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has a Safe at School campaign that works to make sure the diabetes management needs of children are met so they are healthy and safe and able to enjoy the same opportunities as their peers. Learn more about legal protections, written care plans, training, help for schools, and more.

Effective School-based Diabetes Management requires 3 things:

1. Basic diabetes training for all staff.
2. Shared responsibilities for care, with leadership by school nurse.
3. To ensure that self-management is allowed in all school settings for students with capacity.

Check it out here!

South African diabetes guidelines for schools

We don’t yet have a South African schools programme for kids with diabetes. What do you think should be included?

What to read next?

Kids with diabetes:

Kids with diabetes: Kids with diabetes are just like kids without diabetes… in many ways. In many other ways, there are all kinds of special considerations to be aware of. But what about when your child is first diagnosed with diabetes – what do you do then?

Diabetes-friendly kids menu: We asked dietician Genevieve Jardine for some basic guidelines of making delicious diabetic kids friendly meals that won’t spike blood sugar.

Get your free 2023 Diabetes Journal!: Together with Abbott Diabetes Care and FreeStyle Libre, we’ve created a super-helpful 2023 Diabetes Journal. It’s all about how to make life delicious, with Type 1 diabetes.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.