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Legislation Would Mandate Diabetes Management In Schools

UC Davis Health System

Legislation that would require Kentucky schools to have personnel trained in diabetes management is headed to the House floor.  There were some questions raised in committee Thursday (Jan. 23) about the measure. 

Western Kentucky representative Ben Waide asked about diabetes training slippage.

“If you’re just a little bit off on calculating those carbs, if you’re just a little bit off on calculating that insulin, you can do great harm.  So, the person who’s trained in August, and this doesn’t come up until April, and suddenly they’re going oh, smack, what was I trained in, what in August, what am I supposed to do,” said Waide.

Teresa Combs, with the Kentucky School Boards Association, says it’s more likely caregivers will have consistent interaction with diabetic students.

“It’s not always gonna be an emergency situation, but they’re gonna be working with the kid all the time so I see that as better under this piece of legislation than it was when you had the nurse doing it unless the nurse just wasn’t in the building and there was an emergency and then someone would have to step up that got trained five months ago,” said Combs.

The measure would, among other things, cut down on travel time for parents. Central Kentucky teenager Brandon Hine is a diabetic who came to Frankfort with his mother.  Lori Bradley says she used to make a 40 minutes trip to her son’s school to administer insulin.

“I chose to resign rather than to risk losing my job, to risk being fired because of poor attendance and the numerous phone calls I received on a daily basis from the school,” added Bradley.

Stewart Perry with the American Diabetes Association says there’s no firm figure on how many children with diabetes are in Kentucky schools, but the number is growing at an alarming rate.

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