THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the number of children with Type 1 diabetes going up in the state, experts suggest Identity cards should be introduced for them to ensure better care in their respective institutions. It is typical of children with Type I diabetes to experience blackouts during the day because of hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar levels. In fact they experience wide fluctuations in sugar levels through the day. Doctors say wearing of identity cards would make it easier for teachers to recognise the nature of blackouts experienced by children with juvenile diabetes and tackle the problem immediately.
It’s a common complaint from parents that Type 1 patients are not getting the care or special attention in schools. They face discrimination in educational institutions and work places. Major issues are witnessed in schools where they spend 70 per cent of the time. Some of the common problems faced by them are restrictions in having snacks in between to prevent dip in sugar levels, it is also embarrassing for them to eat frequently, monitor glucose level between classes, to have insulin shots before friends (three or four shots have to be taken) and injection during lunch break.
Very few teachers are trained to handle children with Type 1 diabetes. There should be at least two teachers in each school for this purpose. As part of the “mithai” scheme the government needs to organise continuous training programmes for managements, teachers to equip them in handling emergency situations, providing immediate relief and methods to revive children. Along with teachers, special counselling sessions are needed for parents as well. They need to know about monitoring sugar levels, modifying insulin dosages, exercise pattern, food, managing mood swings, repeating laboratory investigations and tackling emotional issues.