Young children with type 1 diabetes have unique management needs, which may necessitate special consideration in the child care setting, according to a position statement published in the October issue of Diabetes Care. Experts stress that young children require a proactive, rather than reactive, diabetes care plan, involving pediatric health care providers, parents/guardians, and child care staff.
Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill, MSN, ARNP, PNP-BC, CDE, a nurse educator in the UF pediatric diabetes clinics and Jonas Scholar, was a co-author on the paper.
Challenges in the child care setting include language barriers, ethnic and cultural practices, limited resources and support, health literacy abilities and capabilities, as well as staff turnover and availability. The key principles for management in the child care setting include that a child care center should not deny admission to a child with diabetes; provision of written care plans to the child care setting; receipt of basic training for all child care staff; and provision of advanced, child-specific training for a small number of staff. Federal laws provide protection for children with diabetes in the setting of child care; legal action may be necessary in cases of violation of these rights.
As part of the statement, the Association developed a sample diabetes management plan for children in the childcare setting, along with resources and tools, such as a tip sheet for parents that can be found online at diabetes.org/childcare.
Currently, infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children (≤5 years of age) are enrolled in more than 330,000 child care programs nationally— including day care, camps, and other programs. The expert-based guidelines were prompted in response to a lack of national diabetes care standards for child care providers and an increasing prevalence of the disease. Nearly 30 million children and adults across the U.S. have diabetes.
“With appropriate training and education, access to resources and a system of communication with parents and the child’s diabetes provider, very young children with diabetes can be safely cared for by childcare providers,” according to the statement.
- To obtain a copy of the Association’s position statement, please visit the Diabetes Care website.
The American Diabetes Association is fighting to make sure child care providers in Florida meet their legal obligation to serve kids with diabetes. Your stories of how your child was or is being treated unfairly in the current or prior school year can help us in this effort. If you have a story to tell about this, or you need help getting fair treatment for your child, please contact us at 1-800-DIABETES or askADA@diabetes.org. Ask how you can be put in touch with a legal advocate. You’ll be given a short form to fill out, which you can return by email, and then have the opportunity to speak with an experienced disability rights attorney. Visit our Child Care page at www.diabetes.org/childcare.