Testing Blood Sugar in the Classroom

My son Cooper is 6 years old and is in 1st. grade. He leaves the classroom and goes to the nurse about 5-6 times a day to check blood sugar and sometimes more if he's having a bad day. He missed so much class time from doing this I'm afraid he might fall behind on his work. I was thinking that it may be a good idea that the nurse came into the class and tested him so then he wouldn't miss anything. However I talked to the teacher about it and she was kind of nervous about it. She said it could distract the other kids or maybe frighten them. She told me it's better off with him in the nurse's office because then the other kids aren't distracted and asking questions. Do any of your kids test in the classroom?? If so how did you get the teacher on board with it??

My son has tested in the classroom since Kindergarten. Other kids will ask questions the first time, then it is just part of the normal routine. We have never had a teacher tell us that it caused a problem and, in fact, whether or not it is distracting, we would insist that he test in place for the very reason of not being out of class so much.

Besides, when he is low, I wouldn't want him walking to the nurse's office, I would want him to treat immediately. In that case, our agreement was that the health clerk would come to him.

My daughter tests several times in the classroom - at least 5 times...however, she is 10 and does it herself. It was never a question that she would have to do the blood checking in the classroom since it has to happen so often. She only goes to the office for the insulin shots. You are actually in your right to ask (demand) that he do it in the classroom since it is compromising his work. You do not have to give in just becuase the teacher is uncomfortable. Offer to do a presentation to the class, get all the kids over it in 1-30 minute session - really they do stop asking questions after the first few times.

Everybody's experience is different. Every school and every teacher is different. But I feel strongly that my son should be able to test his blood sugar wherever/whenever he needs or wants to. Our care plan at school states it in just those terms.

Our experience is that blood sugar checks are interesting or disconcerting to other kids only for the first couple of times it happens around them. After that, the newness wears off and they don't think it's a big deal.

A well thought-out, age-appropriate discussion with the class can go a long way toward helping with the issue of what other kids think. With the help of the school nurse, our son does that with his class each year.

Good luck!

We didn’t test in the classroom the first 6 months after diagnosis and I’m certain my daughter was out of the classroom 50% of the day. When my son was diagnosed, he tested on the classroom from day 1. Absolutely insist on it.

I agree with everyone. Don’t give in. I suggest talking to the teacher again. In our school system the nurse is responsible for training the teachers of students with diabetes. When my 14 y.o. was diagnosed he was in 3rd grade. His teacher was a blessing and explained to the class before Ryan returned to school after diagnosis all about diabetes. She even showed the class a video. I don’t think you have to reinvent the wheel here. There are materials out there that are simplistic to explain this to his classmates. Unfortunately we have had skittish teachers over the years but it is your right to demand this in a 504 meeting. Have you had one? If not, find out how to request one and have testing in the classroom part of it. Can your son test by himself? I can understand the nurse not being available to come to the classroom but if he is independent with testing you should try to get the teacher on board. Good luck to you.


I'm sorry to hear you're having this problem. I was wondering if you got the nurse and teacher together and discussed it. You have a legitimate concern. Perhaps the nurse could do a little discussion with the class and show them what she and your son are doing and that it's not scary, basically inform them (including the teacher) and make it so it's not frightening. My son didn't necessarily want to talk about it with everyone, but once everyone's informed and understands, then it's not a big deal. It just becomes part of everyday life. I think the teacher sets the tone and can really make a difference. I wouldn't give up and I would definitely stand up for your son. It sounds as if the teacher needs to be informed and get herself on board. Good luck!

I agree with everyone else here, I think it is insensitive of his teacher by lets face it trying to take herself out of the equation and not taking responsibility, is your son capable of self testing? I agree a meeting with the school nurse, teacher, yourself and your son would help put together a plan that makes everyone comfortable. the teacher saying it would make the other kids uncomfortable is especially insensitive, I would ask her to consider walking a day in coopers shoes or yours as a parent of a child with diabetes and it may open a bit of compassion in her. as others have suggested the other children will be curious and then forget about it. keep working for what you know is right, blessings, amy

My kids ALWAYS tested in class. It is dangerous to have him walking to the nurse's office, particularly if he is very low or very high. As others have pointed out, it is his right to test in class. Most of the teachers we have had are fine with classroom testing, but there have been some, like your son's teacher, that have reservations. Generally it is because they don't have a good understanding of diabetes, and what the consequences are. Some teachers are afraid, and want the child to be with the nurse. We have always outlined everything in their 504 plans (which if you don't have, you should put in to place)and once that is done, there are no problems in getting what we need for our kids diabetes care. Good luck!!

Thank you for the suggestion about doing a presentation. I’m definitely going to ask about that. Cooper is very open about his diabetes and tells everyone about it so I’m sure he will have no problem answering the questions he gets asked :slight_smile:

Yes we have had a 504 meeting at the beginning of the school year. However? I’m thinking I may need to have another one and discuss testing in the classroom. Yes Cooper is independent in testing however he is sometimes unsure of what the numbers mean so he wouldn’t be able to tell if he was high and needed a correction. Thanks for all your suggestions :wink:

No I talked to both nurse and teacher separately. Cooper is very open about his diabetes and tells everyone about it. So he will have no problem explaining it to the other kids. The nurse did offer to talk to the class however the teacher wasn’t on board and prefers he go to the nurse.

Yes Cooper tests by himself however he gets confused as to what the numbers mean. I had a meeting with the nurse and teacher separately the nurse was on board the teacher not so much. The teacher seemed really worried about the other kids reactions. Cooper is very open about his diabetes and will tell everyone about it and what he’s doing. He’ll say “Im going to get my blood sugar checked who wants to come.” He has a person that goes to the nurse with him.

wow, I would say the teacher is putting your son at risk, physically and mentally I would request a new teacher that is willing to be compassionate and treat cooper with the respect and kindness he deserves, I know it is difficult managing a classroom of kids but done appropriately helping cooper might account for about 1 percent of her time he would need to discreetly tell her his number and set a protocol about what to do, how frustrating for you, he is in the formative years of how he will deal with his D down the road and any negativity or resistance is not acceptable! again some people see the big picture of how things affect them only, I would continue to encourage her to see this through coopers and your eyes if she is not willing I would request a new teacher or perhaps an aid to help him although this may be harder to get and really not necessary if she was only willing to be more compassionate! best of luck, amy

My daughter tests in the classroom and her endocrinologist was very clear with me that this accommodation has to be on her 504. You do not want to have to rely on getting a "nice" teacher who will allow your son to test. Once it is in the 504, the decision is out of the teacher's hands. And, as a guidance counselor, I think your son's teacher is quite shortsighted in missing an opportunity to teach the other children about compassion and that being different is not bad (a lesson she could use herself.) She underestimates her students. There will be some initial curiosity and then they will settle into the routine of the nurse showing up for your son. I also think it is dangerous for a little boy who is low getting to the nurse's office, even if he has another little boy as his partner. Good luck and I have complete confidence that your son's classmates will be supportive of him testing in class.

I think the problem with the teacher is that she doesn't understand how dangerous of a disease diabetes is. She acts like it's no big deal. So I think educating her more will help a great deal. I did have a meeting in the beginning of the year to educate her about diabetes but I guess what I said went out the window. I am going in on Monday to have a talk with her.