Teen Topic #24:  Please give us your top tips for heading back to school with diabetes, based on your experiences.  What should teens do/not do?

Jordan (age 17)
Make sure you have glucose in your backpack all the time.  Make sure your pump doesn’t need to be changed before you go to school.

Laura (age 16)
Definitely don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be embarrassed either. I know sometimes I get embarrassed when something of mine starts alarming during class. Also, always remember to bring your supplies, and have back up supplies in the nurse’s office just in case.

Ashley B. (age 15)
Don’t worry about people thinking you’re weird for having to take shots, it’s a part of your life and they shouldn’t make you feel ashamed of it.

Claire  (age 17)
One of my biggest tips for back to school:  don’t be scared to do your shots or tests in class in front of new kids/peers. If people ask, then answer. If people stare or glare, then stare or glare back. It’s not your problem that you’re trying to live.  Let them squirm as you prick your finger. That’s their problem, not yours.

Josh (age 18)
Teens should always talk to their teachers about their diabetes and what their needs will be, such as eating and drinking during class, and restroom use. Also always carry low snacks, meter and a bottle of water in your backpack!

Jessica (age 20)
My number 1 tip for going back to school is be your own advocate! You know what you need to perform best and you have every right to fight for it. Don’t let anyone tell you no or stop you from achieving your goals just because you have T1D. Another tip is to be open, let the people around you know about your diabetes and educate them. You’ll be surprised at how many people will be more willing to help once they understand.

Mercedes (age 16)
Make sure you tell your teachers about your diabetes so they know what is happening if you constantly need to go to the nurse. If you don’t want people to know about your diabetes, you still want to tell the teacher, just let them know you don’t want anyone else to know. You also want to be prepared with snacks for when you are low. Also extra test strips and batteries for all your devices that use them. I personally carry these things in my bag and also have some in the nurse’s office.

Ian (age 13)
You should carry everything you can with you, and hide as much of your diabetes as possible. Last year I didn’t and when my friends tried to tell those who didn’t know about the disease what I was doing, so many rumors arose and it ended up being much ado about nothing true.

Ashley C. (age 14)
You should let all your teachers know that you’re a type 1 diabetic and that you can take care of it. You should set up a 504 plan. My 504 plan allows me to have unlimited bathroom/water breaks, go to the nurse when I need to, and to check and take insulin when needed whenever. Don’t hide it from anyone don’t be ashamed of it.

Cole (age 15)
Don’t freak out too much. You might be higher, you might be lower, you’ll DEFINITELY have slightly wonky numbers, it happens to the best of us. Make sure you drop your long term insulin and/ or carry sugar on your person when school starts back up. You could be higher than usual but after relaxing all summer you won’t be used to all the walking between classes and you’re going to  want the wiggle room for the first couple weeks.

Zyler (age 16)
Honestly just give insulin and test.

Joseph (age 15)
I would recommend slightly raising your carbs/insulin ratio for a week or so until you figure out how your schedule affects your sugar. If you find that you go low around lunch, then plan a snack some time before and raise your breakfast ratio. If you go low after lunch, raise your lunch ratio and plan a snack a few hours after.

Erin (age 17)
Be sure all your forms are filled out, and that teachers know you are diabetic. Many teachers will help you get caught up from an absence, and many of my teachers actually ask how I feel most days. Do not hide that you are diabetic from your friends, and you may have diabetes but it doesn’t have you. Do not let being diabetic hinder you from enjoying life and getting involved at school. I let that stop me for my first 2 years of high school and I regret that. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help or to go to the nurse, everyone’s usually on your side and is willing to help you feel comfortable and safe.

Sean (age 14)
One of the biggest tips I can give is don’t stress out about getting extra supplies there and making sure everything is perfect for the year. If you take your time and think about it, everything will come together nicely at school. It always has for me and I never stressed about school.

Nick (age 19)
Your day may be busy, and you may be rushed from class to class. That’s no reason to not test. I know I felt like I had to keep up with everyone, and that meant occasionally skipping my blood sugar. Inevitably, that only made me feel bad the rest of the day. So even if everyone else is heading back to class from their lunch break, take the time to do your test.

Lexi (age 15)
If you have a friend or someone in your class that you can trust, have them remind you to test if you always forget. Make sure the nurse has supplies for an emergency. Keep a little bag of candy with you in case of a low blood sugar.

Skylyn (age 15)
Top 3 tips for school as a diabetic:

– Always make sure you have enough insulin with you whether that be in your pump or in a bag with needles for injections

– Keep candy in your backpack in case of lows. I wouldn’t recommend juice boxes because you don’t want them to explode all over your books. I always keep a pack of Starbursts.

– if you have gym class before or after lunch, I recommend taking some insulin away when bolusing for lunch or breakfast depending on whether you have class in the morning or afternoon.  Do not take a large amount away, just a small amount to help prevent lows after or during class.
Cameron (age 16)
Never hide the fact that you have diabetes. You can’t help that have it, so why be ashamed of it?  Plus chicks tend to dig it, which is always a plus.

Vanessa (age 15)
Going back to school, don’t be afraid to prick your finger or do a shot in front of other people. Just do what you need to do. And don’t let what people say get to your head, especially the stupid jokes they try to make.



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