Tuesday, August 14, 2012

School Rules (or School Medical Supplies for Elementary Kids)

My daughters attend different schools with different care plans, which leads to, you guessed it, different medical school supplies.

Today will focus on what I pack for my youngest daughter who is elementary school. 

Disclaimer, please ignore the many bananas in each shot.  We apparently eat a lot of them!

Up first is a Rubbermaid snack tote.  I love this invention!  For "easy to decide what to grab" use, we actually chose to a clear tub and then opted for the top to be pink. 

Originally, having a specific color of everything diabetes was extremely important as we had two kids within the same school who both had type 1 diabetes.  Since they were both MY kids, I chose to use pink on one and blue on the other.  Believe me, our staff in the office (acting as back ups when our aide was absent) was extremely grateful to know by color which bag of supplies to grab.  It helped to keep all of us organized.

Rule #1:  Keep it simple, sweetie! 

By that, I mean label, label, label!    On the outside of the rubbermaid tote, I attach a laminated card with a picture of youngest daughter and our contact information.  Sometimes, even with the best intentions, a substitute teacher might not understand the purpose of having a snack tote.  This elimates any guess work immediately.

Rule #2:  Pack Like Your Going Away On  A Safari And Don't Know What To Bring

Inside the box, I keep a variety of glucose and alternative snacks.  Even though I am very much about kids first, diabetes second, there have been a few nightmare birthday treats during the course of our experience through pre-school and elementary.  If you think there can't be an "uncountable" carb, I have to tell you that some parents have aced this endeavor. 

The other reason that I like to keep alternative snacks is due to the fact that I might have, um, well, actually FORGOTTEN to pack a snack for my child. 

(hanging my head in shame.)

You know for the regular parent, this is no big deal, but for us, it can mean the difference between staying safe and having a low bg.  Having a box of goodies has really helped and quite possibly, one of those silver linings of having T1D.   My kids never go hungry!

Here is a smattering of what you might find.  I also add water bottles (not shown) and a large container of glucose tabs.   My goal is to pack enough to last through the first semester of school without having to replenish.  We like to bring home the box for Christmas break, clean it, refill and send back in January. 

Rule #3:  Teachers Are Mostly Women And Love Cute Bags

This is our (notice the color - coordination??) pink medical bag.  I send my elementary school child with two - one for the office and one for the classroom.  It is insulated and also embroidered with my child's name (on the other side).  I attach the same laminated picture tag on the handle, just to keep everything consistent and to stop anyone from thinking this is a missing lunch bag and inadvertently sending it to the black hole (lost and found!).

In this bag, is everything that would be needed for a trip away from the building as well as daily testing supplies.  The aide (or her backup) is responsible for taking this bag along.

And as a bonus, teachers love these bags.  They are adorable with the embroidery and the straps are just the right size for carrying around.   Having something comfortable AND cute, makes it a little easier for all of us.

The bag includes the following:  Strips, lancets, alcohol wipes, glucagon, ketone strips, site changes, band aids, neosporin, emergency card, supplies needed request notes, glucose and a blood sugar meter.

I will also purchase a sharps container for the classroom and will dispose of it at the end of the school year.  Last year, we went through two containers and they were very full.  Nice to see that much testing and know that everything is working the way that it should.

Rule #4:  Glucose Is Everywhere Until You Need It

And finally, a new addition this year (thanks to a fellow T1D mom).  I am adding this little guy with four glucose tabs to the zipper pull on my youngest daughter's jacket.  That way, no matter where she is on the playground or a field trip bus or any even outside during PE, she has access to glucose. 

Now, my question to you all, has anyone found something like this in pink? 


Unknown said...

thanks for the tip re: the glucose tab keychain - I've not seen this before and it will work perfectly for my 14 year old daughter with T1D who is constantly on the go! Thank you!

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

The keychain is fabulous! Works wonderfully. The only thing that I find for older kids is that they will use up the glucose and forget to replace. We have started with having a nightly check... need more tabs? Just be prepared for a sigh and eyeroll! :)