February 8, 2012

Succeed in Safe Schools - PA HB 1338

Kids should be safe at school.

Including kids with diabetes. Some kids may need support to be safe.  Legitimate budget, scheduling and other reasons may keep a school from having nursing coverage. Safe at school means the kids can go to school and be safe if the nurse has a family issue, traffic problem, heaven forbid needs to escort another kid to the hospital in an emergency or if the school doesn't have a nurse.
There are best practices recommended for diabetes and schools created by the leading health and education professionals. They are in a document called Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel. It was written by the NDEP, a partnership of the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than 200 public and private organizations.

Not exactly bums.

"Helping" anticipate that, while not ideal, some schools without a nurse may still need to help a child with diabetes succeed. Succeed what a great word.

Let's focus on succeeding.

Legislation is pending in Pennsylvania to try to help kids succeed in safe schools. There is a op/ed piece in @PhillyInquire on the topic and it is well worth reading. One commenter at the paper asks if proponents would send their diabetic child to a school without a nurse.

I have and would.

While we currently have the World Greatest School Nurse, we have never insisted upon a school nurse. I recognize that safe at school can be accomplished with non medical professionals who are open, communicative and trained. That said even a great nurse will be constrained by narrow minded and uncommunicative people in power who refuse to consider best practices for their own ends.

To help kids succeed in safe schools, I support PA HB 1338. I encourage you to learn about best practaces and support it, or similar legislation in your state, too.


  1. I read that piece in the Inquirer this morning and it gave me food for thought through the day. Have I sent G to school without a nurse? Yes, and when she was 6, it scared me as a parent, because she was so young.
    I agree that more personnel need to be trained on care in school. But I also realize we need to start asking for nurses within schools too. My daughter attends an Elementary school with over 600 kids. I cannot imagine not having a school nurse there.
    Safe at school means different things to different people. I don't think there is one standard for being safe at school. My daughter, I believe, is the most safe, when she has a school nurse, an RN, in her school. Others may disagree. I support the bill, but I also have some concerns about it.

  2. True, True, Plenty of people who are not nurses or medically trained at all can provide diabetes care, if they are properly trained.

    For us, the school nurse's most important role has been as diabetes educator to the rest of school staff. We know that if our son ran into a problem at school because of his diabetes, the nurse could explain. Several times in elementary school the nurse informed us of upcoming field trips--including the walking kind-- that the teacher had forgotten to tell us about. The nurse takes care of communicating our son's needs to each of his teachers every year and answers questions. His middle school nurse helped him gain confidence in his ability to take care of himself. I would not want to do without school nurses.