Please help. Should my child test in the classroom or nurse's station?

Hi All,

Am trying to get some feedback on this.

School starts in 2 days and tomorrow I am going to meet with my child's teacher.

Julia wants to test for her morning snack in the classroom right at recess rather than walking to the nurse's station because it takes so long and keeps on insisting she can do it herself.

She is going into 3rd grade and is on a pump for the last 3 years and I think she really can do this herself, but a little nervous not having the nurse overlook it- Julia never makes a mistake, but it is just the parental thing.  Her morning snack is super simple and I made up a simple instruction sheet that outlines bloodsugar ranges that might cause her to not take insulin for her gogurt at recess.  She and I have been practicing and she gets it right everytime.  I would have it in her box with her tester in the classroom so the teacher can oversee it. 

I don't even know if the school will let her test in the classroom because she has always done it at the nurse's station.

I want to give Julia this independence because she is responsible and wants to manage it, but is she too young???

I got it at age 17 do don't know???

So want to poll you guys for you to let me know how old you were when you were more independent. 

What do you think??  I know this is just everyone's opinion, but want to hear from you to get an idea on whether I should let her do this on her own with all the adults around her knowing the guidelines.

Please advise- I posted this in another group (parents of T1's and only got one response) they are having their 5 year old do it in the classroom with teacher overseeing rather than going to nurse's station.

I would value your guys input on this as tomorrow I need to meet with the staff.


Hi Laura -   We have Ellie (age 9, starting 3rd grade tomorrow) test in her classroom with teacher/para-professional supervision.  Ellie does not go to the office (there is no nurse in her school) at all for her diabetes care.     That being said - it would be a lot of responsibility on a 3rd grader.  Not that Julia can't do it, but should she have to be that responsible?   I'm a firm believe in letting our kids with type 1 be kids as long as they can.     Other side - she should not have to miss any recess or classtime to get her diabetes taken care of.    Hopefully you can come up with an agreement with the teacher to keep her safe and in the classroom.  Good luck!

Hi Katie,

I could put in her plan to go to the nurse's station 10 minutes before recess so she won't miss recess time and that is what we have been doing from kinder-2nd.  I would rather her miss 10 minutes of class and have all of her recess so she can be that kid like you said.

But last spring, Julia started telling me she just wants to do her test in the classroom for morning snack (not lunch). 
She insists she can do it- which she can- and really wants to do it rather than wasting class time. 

I am just struggling with is Julia ready and mommy is not??  Thanks for your input.  I value all of your input.



If your school does have a nurse, more than likely, they will have her go to the clinic for a blood sugar check.   As a diabetic, I am always careful out in public checking my blood sugar because some people get queezy just watching a blood finger stick.   They may approve of it if she has a private place in her classroom to do so.  Be proud of her for not worrying about what others think when it comes to testing and bolusing.  Other than that...not sure what to tell you.  If you are comfortable with her bolusing correctly and they approve of it, than let her give it a try.

Best wishes

We ended up having Julia go to the nurse's station rather than doing it at the classroom (actually we have health aides not RN's- but only for 3.5 hours a day- California budget cuts- our state is in a terrible mess)

Julia's 3rd grade class has like 35 students in it and only one teacher- no assistants, no aides- so realistically, to have the teacher shadow Julia's testing would be way too much to put on the teacher- the teacher does know her routine and what to do with hypoglycemia,but to ask more than that is just not realistic- so we stuck with our routine of her going to the nurse's station.

She does it at recess and lunch time and gets to leave 5 minutes early for both so that is good!  and her best friend is her nurse buddy everyday so she loves getting out of class early- but Julia still gets frustrated- even though her best friend loves it!  Well, it is just part of managing her care.

I stopped by at lunch time on the first day of school to check in with everyone and as Julia was checking her sugar I looked to my left and right and two kids were on the beds lying down with flu symptons- then I got a sick feeling to my stomach thinking about swine flu exposure.  For the last 3 years she has gone to the nurse's station to do her checks twice a day during school year and I have often thought that I hate her being exposed to sick kids everyday, but now with swine flu, I am really sick about it.

So, I am going to talk to the school about it- there are other diabetics at our school in the same situation and I think there is room outside her office where they could have a little station for them to check- her office has windows so that goes into another office right outside her door-

I'm really not that paranoid, but it hit me hard yesterday seeing that.

Thanks for your input. 


Interesting discussion.  I was in 2nd grade (7 years old) when diagnosed in 1979.  In 3rd grade, because we had the later lunch, I was permitted to go and sit in the back and eat the 1/2 peanut butter sandwich that Mom had packed for me in the midmorning.  If Julia is anything like most 3rd graders, she wants to show she can do it.  She will probably excel at it, because A) she has lots of experience and B)her age is the age of someone who wants to succeed at tasks. 

When I was 8, I started doing my own shots.  Mom would brag that I could do my own shots to family, friends, our doctor.  The doc would say things like, "You're the youngest boy I know who does his own shots!"  And how do you think I felt?  Awesome, proud, and well in control of what I was doing.  I thank my mom for all she did to help me learn to live with this disease.

My suggestion?  Let her do it, in the classroom, by herself, and respond appropriately.  You've taught her.  she knows the drill.  she knows signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia.  When she does it, tell her how proud you are of her and brag to the endo, grandma, or whoever.  She won't get it wrong. 

I may not have a good grasp on the exact situation, but it seems to me that if you clip her wings a bit here, she might not develop enough ownership with the condition itself.  she might begin perceiving, "diabetes is something that other people do for me."  Maybe not so stark as that, but you want her to feel that she is in charge, and you want her to become an adult who is fully in control of it.

What makes me feel this way so certain?  the mere fact that you stated in your first post that "she wanted to be able to test in the classroom."  By saying so, she conceives of a reality whereby she can actually do it.

Good luck.  I can tell you are a good mom and will do what is best.


I am a Type I, but I am a Dad too. She should be allowed to test in class. It doesn't matter the circumstances. The school needs to make reasonable accommodations. My wife just said it would be good for her classmates as well. Knowledge is power. I am very impressed with the work you are doing with your daughter.


Papa Jon

This IS an interesting discussion, esp as schools now have so many restrictions b/c they're worried about liability. I know you've already met w/ the school and made a decision. Maybe in the future, when you feel ready to give her more responsibility, you could do a one week trial in the classroom, where you check her meter and pump (is she on one?) each day to make sure she responded appropriately. When I was growing up, I started doing my own injections at the age of 7, but I don't think I was actually good at managing my disease until high school. I remember eating cookies through some very high highs all through middle school, lol.

Could you give her hand sanitizer to use each time she leaves the nurse's station in the mean time?

Flu exposure in the nurses office. Yuck. That is reason enough to not go there during flu season. Too risky for me. I'd have the teacher trained to over look the tests and injections.

-I'm like some of these other people here. Our school had 1 nurse for 10 schools - an hour away from 1 school to the next- so she only goes to each school once a week mostly for lice head checks.

I hope that everything works out.

I always tested in the classroom on my teachers desk which was always behind the other kids. The teacher knew what time I had to and made me go to her desk. I would keep a test kit in the nurses office also in case soemthing happens at recess, thats where the child will end up.