School Field Trips

It’s that time of year where all the kids are taking the end of school year field trips. Being a mom with a fairly newly Dx’d 10 year old just wondering if anyone has any advice, comments or suggestions for us moms that haven’t been down that road yet.

Hi Renaee – I have a 7 year old son (Dx’d when he was 3) and either my husband or I have chaperoned all of his field trips to take care of his diabetes. I think that soon he will be able to take care of himself (he already does most of his own care) – the hardest part is the math involved in counting the carbs. Also – he wears a pump which is easier for him to dose insulin.

Jacob can figure his carbs using a calculator, and then he has an adult check his figures and also check the amount of insulin before he does his injection. He is still using syringes at this point. But all-in-all does very well. His teacher and school are very supportive, it is a small school in a rural area, this has helped us so much.

My son is 10 and I have attended all his fields trips. I don’t know when I’ll be ready to let him go on his own yet. His teacher this year is not concerned with his diabetes enough to watch out for him. The school will send a representative with him who is supposedly trained in diabetes but I am skeptical.

Just last week I let him on the bus by himself and followed in my car. I was ok going but on the way back we returned later than planned, way past his lunch time. His teacher was oblivious to the time and the fact that he needed to eat. My fault for not bringing a snack and only having 2 glucose tabs but she would have stayed even longer if one of the other teachers hadn’t decided it was time to get the kids some lunch. It was poorly planned and as his mother I blame myself. After he got on the bus with his blood sugar lower than I like I broke down and cried because I felt like I failed by letting him go on his own and for not being more prepared.

Now if it would have been some of his past teachers it would have been easier as I’ve had some really great ones who paid attention. But for now, until he is more dependant with his diabetes, I will always join his field trips.

Hi Renaee,

I also go on all my son’s field trips as well as all special days where they deviate from the normal schedule or may have a special snack. Even though his teachers are very good, I feel it would be too much to ask on trips etc, that they monitor him as closely as I would. They have 15 other children to worry about! In the end, we know what’s best. :slight_smile: Some people may call this paranoid. I call it smart!

I call it smart! It’s the deviation from what was planned that always worries me.

That’s so true, Stephanie. As good as Sam’s teachers are, there have definitely been little interruptions to the daily routine in the past that have affected Sam. For instance, on dinosaur dig day a parent brought in dinosaur fruit snacks for the kids. Sam was allowed to eat a whole bag (10 fruit snacks!) because they knew i was coming in early that day to help out and thought i could adjust for it later! When i told them it was like giving him two and half juice boxes when he wasn’t even low, they understood, but if i hadn’t been going in early to help, can you imagine what his bg’s would have been like! Or when a special guest came to the class and snack was delayed by half an hour! He went low - go figure!

Hi Stephanie
Thanks for your words of wisdom and experience.

I have been calling myself over-protective. But after reading posts from you all I find that I am feeling the same way you all feel. I don’t know that I have relaxed a minute since Jacob was dx’d, always on guard. Always worried about the what if’s.
Jacob had a tough day today. He rushed thru lunch as he was in a hurry to go play and when he got to the nurse’s office she pushed that fact that he needed to finish eating… She attempted to contact me and I somehow missed the call. (I let him down!) Jacob ended up becoming very upset and very angry! He refused to finish eating. I feel so bad that I missed the call. Maybe I would have been able to talk him thru it, offered a different solution! Of course he dropped this afternoon. So back to the nurse for a quick carb to bring himself up and then wait to come up then have a complex carb. All the while he is missing class. I so worry about all the obstacles him having diabetes is causing him and will continue to cause him and feel so helpless sometimes. I’m his Mom. I’m supposed to be able to fix everything and make it right. Sorry this is getting long and I’m getting emotional. Thanks to all for being there.

It’s happened to all of us. We started making Michael’s lunches smaller so he could finish them and have time to play. He gets a morning snack becuase his lunch isn’t until 12:30 and then he’s home by 2pm for a check and an afternoon snack.

I don’t think you can avoid those moments. We have it in the dr.'s orders that Michael can’t have PE over 300. We made it high because it’s usually after he eats and the nurse doesn’t always understand that it’s ok and he’ll come down. He’s usually in line but sometimes he’s over 300. Anyway, just got a call this week that he was 300 and my son said, " the dr.'s orders say over 300!" he’s very literal. Sometimes I have to fight with the nurse and she doesn’t like it when I allow him. Now if he’s over 300 I stick to the orders and he ends up hanging up on me. I can’t blame him and feel guilty that I didn’t bolus right in the morning or gave him the wrong snack.

It’s taken a while but I do realize I’m not perfect. We can only do our best and as mother’s will always feel guilty if it’s not perfect.


Hi Renaee, My son , Jack, has been a diabetic for 5 years now, He’s 7 and in 1st grade. We accompany Jack on all field trips.
You haven’t “let your son down” by missing a call form the nurse. This is all very new for you and I completely understand what your going through. I’ve missed a few phone calls over the years, in the end my son is fine. Perhaps bringing CDE’s into you school for education will take some of the burden off of you while he’s in school…it’s not easy, but it sounds like your doing a wonderful job. One of the hardest things for me was dealing with the fact that I can’t ’ fix’ everything…but that’s not all so bad, I can honestly say that some really great things have come from/since Jack’s dx.
Be Well,

Hi Chris
Thank you for the encouraging words. How do I get a CDE to come to my sons school? It would really be awesome if I could get one to do education at my sons daycamp that he will be attending this summer. I do understand that because Jacob has diabetes this is only making him a stronger person. He has grown up so much since he was dx’d. He is becoming a very responsible young man very quickly.

Please read up on 504 plans, and think about implementing them for your child and school. Of course your best defense is teaching the child to test, and carry sugar tabs, and /or juice and snacks.

I’m know a little about 504 plans, although we don’t have anything official in place for Jacob at this time. We have a nurse on site and she has trained his teacher and several others that come in contact with Jake on a regular basis. I feel comfortable that his needs are being met. The nurse has done extra training with Jacob’s teacher for the trip and he does his own testing, figuring his carb intake and drawing up his insulin. He is then checked before administering insulin. He does very well recognizing when he is low. I’m so proud of everything he has learned about taking care of himself in the past six months. But he wants me to go along. So wish us well on our trip to Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. I’m kind of glad that he wants me to go, I would have been a nervous wreak all day. But I didn’t want him to know that.
Thanks for everyones knowledge that was passed on to me about how you all handle field trips.

Sometimes the CDE from a local hospital will go to schools and present a session. I don’t know whether your son’s CDE would go free.

I am working with our local JDRF with our 504 plan, also check with your insurance, our insurance gave us a case worker to help us with some of our questions. It just depends on what is available in your area. We lost a lot of medical staff in our area the same week our daughter was dxd, I was not happy about that, we had no one to train the school staff and it was up to me, just weeks after her dxd… i made phone calls, complained and now our local med. staff has training available to schools, staff and students, for free, the come right to the school!!

Any way, back to field trips, I happen to drive the bus that takes the kids, so i do go. But if the trip is a longer ride or all day, i have somone else drive the bus and i take my van, that way if something does go wrong, i can leave with her.

Lucky you. I had no help. Middle school provided a nurse on field trips ( who also monitored other kids’ issues). He had a known problem, and had had complications. The “problem” came when the high school refused to provide coverage for a school sponsored or student participated event. like away sports games ( They did not want to consider it like a field trip-- same to me, no nurse, away from the school, and school sponsored). Yet now, they are sending a nurse to the prom( maybe because many students attending will be covered). Make sure you put wording in as above, to cover many eventualities. If you want to volunteer, you can , but they should provide coverage when and if you do not want to or can’t. With the price of gas today, I would not want to follow every bus to every event.

Hi all
Just wanted everyone to know that my son went on his field trip today. I went along. I was glad that I did. Lunch was late, but you know what, J’s teacher came to me when she found out that plans were different and said that J may need to have a snack as lunch was going to be late. So we had him test and have a light snack to hold him over until lunch. He ran on the higher end all day. I think it was the bus ride. But all-in-all things went well and I was impressed that his teacher knew that it was going to be a problem for J to eat late. She did tell me that she felt much better with me going along. She was worried. Thanks for everyones input on field trips.

That is great. I’m sure you feel relieved you went and I bet your son loved having you there.

I think most everything has been covered, but I just wanted to put in a little plug for a pump. With a pump you have a little more flexibility. We don’t have to worry about timing if lunch is late, or if BG’s are high, we bolus when we eat and bolus if we’re high. If you aren’t real hungry you just subtract out the carbs of the food you don’t want to eat. We include a little sheet of paper with the carbs for the items in her lunch and she can do the math and subtract out an item. It’s not the cure all, but it does make life at school a little easier.