As a mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, I’ve already had to advocate on her behalf because a lot of folks just don’t understand the seriousness of the disease. I’ve had to fight school officials to simply allow her to carry her medical supplies with her. They believed that the supplies should be housed in the nurses office. I was shocked at the thought and also confused because the state guidelines specifically say that a child has the right to carry their supplies themselves.
I remember the nurse said to me, with a sense of pride on her face, that in a medical emergency she’d run to the aid of my child. I asked her what if the school was on lockdown.. She stuttered through her response…. “Well, well we have walkie talkies… I’ll get to her”. I looked at her like she had three eyes. You’re going to risk your life, to save my child’s life? That was absurd! I told the team of teachers and administrators that I’d happily call a lawyer if we didn’t resolve this today. And guess what, my daughter carried her supplies with her.
Fast forward one year later and my daughter was now attending high school. It was in a new state, which meant new rules.. And I was having anxiety of the thought that I’d have to start from scratch about my child’s right to carry her medical supplies. Thankfully, the staff was on the ball and a quick phone call hashed out all the details in her 504 plan.
Later that month, I got the following texts from my daughter:
The kids have talked to me about drills, but to have the school on lockdown while your baby is inside was one of the scariest moments ever. I was relieved that her glucose was on the higher side, but not knowing how long she’d be in the room I was still on edge.
She was scared and hormones, nerves and a slew of other chemical changes in her body could have her glucose plummet dangerously low.
That incident also reminded me that I had failed to give each teacher an emergency kit. That was the first thing I did the next day. Each kit contained instructions on how to care for Courtney in the event of an emergency. There were juice boxes and glucose tabs in case her glucose went low. Also, I included a glucose meter so they could check her. With the exception of the meter, I was able to buy all of the supplies from Dollar Tree.
As a parent of a child with medical needs, I recognize how scary school lockdowns can be. I hope that this reminds us to think of all outcomes and provide supplies to teachers, create emergency plans, and be prepared as best you can.
Is your family prepared?