My middle school child recently felt shaky and went to the nurse, who sent her back to her classroom ALONE to get her meter. By the time my daughter returned to the nurse's office, she no longer felt shaky, but was urged to check her glucose anyway. She was 33 mg/dl [1.8 mmol/L]. My daughter was told by the nurse that as she no longer felt shaky, she didn't need to treat this low. Obviously, my daughter did treat and I had a long conversation with the nurse. How responsible can a child be with a blood sugar that low? At what point should the school nurse override a child's decision, knowing that when one is hypoglycemic, rational decision making is impaired?
Your daughter was right. The school nurse was wrong. One should always treat a low blood glucose since it is not clear whether the brain glucose level is rising or falling. Brain glucose levels differ from peripheral blood glucose levels by about 30 to 45 minutes, usually.
[Editor's comment: If you do not already have a 504 plan in place, you should consider having one. We have information on 504 plans and children's rights at school on our web page, Diabetes at School. See also the ADA's page on School Discrimination. We also have a page on Hypoglycemia that you may want to print and give to the nurse. Finally, you may wish to review our previous questions on Hypoglycemia. BH]
Original posting 6 Apr 2006
Posted to Hypoglycemia
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