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FOR RELEASE: March 2, 2004
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Toolkits Offer Resources to Help Handle Diabetes in Schools

Diabetes is one of the most serious health problems facing the world today. In the United States each year, more than 13,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Health care providers are also finding more children and teens with type 2 diabetes, a disease usually seen in people over age 40, according to officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian children who are obese and have a family history of type 2 diabetes are at especially high risk for this type of diabetes.

To help address this health concern, the National Diabetes Education Program has developed a tool-kit to assist school personnel in dealing with the issue of diabetes within the school setting. Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel is a comprehensive guide designed to empower school personnel, parents, and students to ensure a safe learning environment and equal access to educational opportunities for all students with diabetes.

“Diabetes presents unique issues for children and teens with the disease. Simple things - like going to a birthday party, playing sports, or staying overnight with friends - need careful planning,” said Adeline Yerkes, RN, MPH, chief of the Chronic Disease Service. “Every day, children with diabetes may need to take insulin or oral medication. They also need to check their blood glucose several times during the day and remember to make correct food choices. For school-age children, these tasks can make them feel ‘different’ from their classmates, and for teens, these tasks can be particularly bothersome.”

The diabetes guide is designed to help school personnel effectively handle diabetes within their school setting. For a copy of the guide, visit this Web site: http://ndep.nih.gov/materials/pubs/schoolguide.pdf or contact the OSDH Diabetes Prevention and Control Program at (405) 271-4072 x57105.

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