Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate parent reports of the diabetes care support their children receive in school, their concerns about diabetes management in school, and their knowledge of federal laws that protect children with diabetes. In addition, the study explores ethnic and socioeconomic status differences in diabetes management in school.
Methods: An ethnically heterogeneous sample of 309 parents of children with diabetes was recruited from a community-based and a university-based diabetes outpatient clinic. Parents completed a survey assessing supports their child's school provides for diabetes care, worries about diabetes care in school, and awareness of federal laws that pertain to children with diabetes.
Results: Many children did not have a written care plan or a nurse at school, but significantly more white children had these supports than Hispanic or black children. Most children were not allowed to check blood glucose levels or administer insulin in class. Most parents were worried about hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia in school, and most were not at all or only a little confident in the school's ability to care for diabetes. Most parents were not aware of federal laws, but high-income and white parents were more likely to be aware.
Conclusions: According to parents in the current study, children receive inadequate diabetes management support in schools. Minority children are less likely to receive supports than white children. Parents are worried about diabetes management in school, but most do not have the knowledge of federal laws necessary to protect their children.