Sharing supplies with school

Hi there,

My son, Jacob~10 years old, was diagnosed three weeks ago with T1.  We are getting to start the new school year  and we are starting with a greater supply list than the rest of classmates. Can anyone offer suggestions or ideas on how we supply the school with test strips, insulin and needles when we are given a specific amount of  refills for the year that do not include the supplies needed for the classroom.

I went today to get refills for test strips and an additional bottle of insulin to  take into the school nurse and the pharmacy informed me that are not refillable at this time. How does this work? Ugh... So frustrated and nervous. And, the bottles of  insulin come in one size. They expire after 28 days.  My son will get a lunch shot only from the supply at school. Which means that after 28 days, there will have hardly been any used from that school bottle of insulin only to be thrown away. How do other families deal with the school supplies.


Thank you so much!




It sounds to me like the school is giving you a specific amount of diabetes supplies that you must bring with you. Is this true? If so i do not believe they can mandate the amount of supplies that you bring. I might have some more insight if this is the case.

until the school will start paying for my daughter insulin it will come home daily with us. I brought in a pen when she first switched to using them right after she was dxed and left it there we had to throw it away with close to 200 units in it. NO way will it stay there unless like I said they want to pay for it themselves its my property not theirs.

Hi again,

The school hasn't told me what to supply. But the kids are not allowed to transport the insulin or needles to and  from school in their backpacks or on the buses.  They have to be brought in by a parent.  So instead of me having to go to the school every day to drop off and pick up, I  can supply them with everything they need to help my son manage his diabetes there.  It's just asking the insurance to cover double doses so we can have one at home and one at school. The sad part is the wasteful amount that will be thrown away since it's only good for 28 days and he'll only be getting his lunch time shot at school. We hope to be in a pump by years end so this kind of stuff will be gone. But until then, I was wondering if anyone out there supplied the school with insulin, needles and test strips. There is just no way I can get to school everyday for every shot he may need.  The school is very willing and able to help him manage and I'm very grateful for that, it's just getting everything there in a cost effective way to let them assist.


Thanks for your responses.


If the school nurse or office has a refrigerator you could store the insulin there.  As long as the insulin is refrigerated, it should be good for longer than 28 days.  Actually, opened insulin at any temperature may not be good for more than 28 days, but it's worth asking about.  Sorry I can't be more helpful.

I'm confused about the school's policy, though.  I'm assuming they allow kids with insulin pumps to wear them on the buses and such.  Why is carrying a bottle of insulin (without the syringes) not allowed?

[quote user="wafeldy"]

The sad part is the wasteful amount that will be thrown away since it's only good for 28 days and he'll only be getting his lunch time shot at school. 


We keep one pen at school and they keep it refrigerated. It's my understand that as long as it's refrigerated it will last until the expiration date. We did have some issues in the beginning with not getting enough of the pen needles. I just called Sarah's Endo and she wrote a prescription for more.

I do keep a supply of everything at school. I also order additional supplies as soon as the hospital lets me so I keep a pretty good extra stash just in case we go through more than we expect.

Your insurance will fill whatever amount of bottles your doctor writes the perscritpion for.  Call your doctor, ask them to perscripe an extra bottle a month.  They should happily do it. 

I had the same problem, we were barely making it to the end of the month with the supply we were perscribed.  It never occured to me just to call my endo to up the amount. 

Good luck!  (And PS ridiculous they won't let your child transport insulin.  How can that be legal?  You could call your local JDRF or ADA office for advice.  Wishing you the best!) 

Another option is to send in a half, third, quarter (whatever) bottle on a monthly basis.  you can do this in one of several ways; either use half a bottle at home, then crack open a new one for home, and send in the partial, or save an empty bottle and fill it with as much as you need (I would be cautious with this latter method, for obvious reasons, especially if lot/expiration dates do not match, the school nurse could freak out).

See I have to go to the school daily so for me it matters little. I wont allow the control freak nurse to waste my money and from my understanding weather its in the fridge or not 30 days give or take is all it is good for. I have to pay out of pocket for the insulin pens so no WAY am I leaving one there to be wasted.

As Katie stated I would question the school on their policy of transporting insulin only without syringes.  A vial of insulin can't do much harm to anyone unless the glass broke and cut someone.  But kids "transport" a lot of different things that could hurt another.  I had a friend that used a small case (similiar to a pencil case) that had a childproof latch on it.  She carried all her extra supplies in it.  Perhaps you could find something similiar  that would be acceptable to the school for safe transport?

I also don't understand this schools policy. As far as I'm concerned they cannot tell someone they can't carry something that is needed to stay alive. Sorry, I would totally take this up with your county's school board.

My daughter just leaves her insulin at the nurse's office every morning. She uses her meter in class any time she feels the need. We are so lucky to have a goods school district. . This sounds like such a nightmare. It sounds crazy that a handicapped child would need legal protections but I read about things like this on the forum all the time.


Wendy, First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your son's diagnosis. I hope he is feeling better and that you and your family are starting to adjust to this big change in your lives. Second all, it will get easier! There is so much at first, and everything is new and even 'normal' things feel like a huge challenge with diabetes in the mix. That will get better with time. If you are like me, this may be the first time you are also really needing to work with your insurance co. It just is a lot. Keep asking questions, to everyone, and caring for and loving your son as you always have.

As for school, as others have mentioned, get your dr. to write new scrips for whatever supplies you need for both home and school. If you are not seeing a pediatric endocrinologist, you might want to find one as they will better understand the school stuff and can help you navigate thru it. You will probably be seeing your doctor again soon for follow-up and I think it is pretty normal to adjust prescriptions at that time. But your doctor can do it any time, just ask and say why you need it.

As for the supplies, I would investigate getting insulin pens. You could have your son keep a supply of pen needles at school and at home and just the pen would go back and forth. Or, you can stick with syringes and get the insulin pen vials. You can use them with the syringes just like the big vials. But they're smaller, so you waste less. We use them with my son because even with his pump, we don't go thru a full vial in a month. In addition, they come in a box of 5 vials, and you probably would not go thru all in a month, so you'd pretty quickly accumulate a 'store' of extra vials.

I agree with others though, that it seems pretty ridiculous that your son can't transport needles back and forth. If there are other students with diabetes at the school (or in the district) I would try to talk with them and learn from them.

Just let us know anytime you have questions, need to vent or want to celebrate something!


I was diagnosed with the big D when I was at the end of my 6th grade year and I remember keeping a bottle or two in the nurses station fridge and also i had my own little drawer to keep all my extra supplies in.  I agree on asking your son's endo to prescribe some extra supplies.  I am sure it won't be the first time they have heard this request.

Also you said he will be going on the insulin pump soon?  Awesome!! I was only on shots for 1 year and then I got the insulin pump and it made life so much easier and made me feel more like my friends (well except for having to carry around a box on my hip).

This really isn't on the topic, but can I say that it would be good for your son to also meet other diabetics be it at a support group or at a diabetes summer camp.  I never did that when I was young and I think it really would have made things a little easier to have someone I knew personally and my own age that also had diabetes.  Someone to talk to that knows what your feeling.

Good Luck with the new school year!!

I was just recently diagnosed as well...what i do is my doctor perscribed a pen for me to keep at i juts leave my pen and pen needles along with an extra glucometer and test strips in the nurses not sure if this helped or not but this is what ive been doig since february...