Are children with type 1 diabetes safe at school? Examining parent perceptions

Pediatr Diabetes. 2015 Dec;16(8):613-20. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12204. Epub 2014 Sep 30.


Objective: To describe parent perceptions of children's diabetes care at school including: availability of licensed health professionals; staff training; logistics of provision of care; and occurrence and treatment of hypo- and hyperglycemia; and to examine parents' perceptions of their children's safety and satisfaction in the school environment.

Research design and methods: A survey was completed by parents of children with type 1 diabetes from permissive (trained, non-medical school personnel permitted to provide diabetes care; N = 237) and non-permissive (only licensed health care professionals permitted to provide diabetes care; N = 198) states.

Results: Most parents reported that schools had nurses available for the school day; teachers and coaches should be trained; nurses, children, and parents frequently provided diabetes care; and hypo- and hyperglycemia occurred often. Parents in permissive states perceived children to be as safe and were as satisfied with care as parents in non-permissive states.

Conclusions: Training non-medical staff will probably maximize safety of children with diabetes when a school nurse is not available.

Keywords: parents' perceptions; safety; school environment; type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Workforce
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hyperglycemia / etiology
  • Hypoglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hypoglycemia / etiology
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Safety
  • Schools*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology