Diabetes: When Your Child Should Stay Home from School

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This guideline is to help you decide whether your child is too ill to go to school and whether the illness is diabetes-related or could worsen the symptoms of diabetes.

When to keep your child home

Your child is too ill to go to school if he or she has either of these symptoms:

  • Vomiting with ketones or
  • Severe low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) that requires several treatments or glucagon

Asking for a school excuse

  • If your child is showing symptoms above, please contact our office the same day.Ask to be transferred to discuss your concern with a staff member.A school excuse may be issued based on that conversation.
  • If you question whether or not your child needs to stay home from school for a diabetes-related reason, please contact our office the same day and ask to be transferred to discuss your concern with a staff member.We can give you guidance and send a school excuse if appropriate.
  • For health concerns not related to diabetes, contact your child’s primary care physician.

Some things to remember

School is a child’s work.  It is important for normal development.  If your child is absent often, it may be harder to keep up with his or her class.  Usually, children with diabetes do not need to miss more school than their peers, except for appointments and serious illness.

  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital Section of Endocrinology cannot provide a school excuse:
    • After the date of the illness has passed.
    • That excuses your child from school for any future days that may be needed due to diabetes.
  • If you need a school excuse, please contact our office the same day and ask to be transferred to discuss your concern with a staff member. We can give you guidance and send a school excuse if appropriate.
  • You will always be given a school excuse for the day of your child’s diabetes appointment.
  • Your child should not be kept or sent home from school for a reason related to diabetes, except for the symptoms mentioned above.High and low blood glucose need to be treated, but there is not a specific blood glucose value that means your child automatically needs to be sent home. In most cases, ketones without vomiting can be treated at school. If you notice your child’s school is sending them home inappropriately, please discuss this with your school, and contact us if you need assistance.
  • Children with diabetes are legally eligible for either a 504 plan or an Individualized Education Program (IEP).These plans ensure that children with disabilities receive any special accommodations they need to succeed in school.They do not guarantee your child will be excused.Even with a 504 or IEP plan, a medical school excuse is often required.Missed work will still need to be made up.

When your child is tardy (late) to school

  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital Section of Endocrinology cannot provide a school excuse for tardies:
    • After the date of the tardy has passed
    • That excuses your child from school for any future days that may be needed due to diabetes.
  • If you need a school excuse, please contact our office the same day and ask to be transferred to discuss your concern with a staff member. We can give you guidance and send a school excuse if appropriate.

Diabetes: When Your Child Should Stay Home from School (PDF)

HH-IV-189 10/17 Copyright 2017, Nationwide Children’s Hospital