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Type 1 diabetes support being offered in Alberta schools

Minister Eggen, St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud, and Deanna and Nathalie Emberg announce Alberta’s new guidelines for supporting students with Type 1 Diabetes in schools. (Government of Alberta)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — New guidelines are now in place for supporting students with Type 1 diabetes in school.

Education Minister David Eggen said there are approximately 2,300 school-aged children in Alberta with Type 1 diabetes.

“The guidelines identify the roles and responsibilities for those involved in the care of students with Type 1 diabetes, these include creating an individual care plan for students and within that plan ensuring that there’s an emergency plan so that quick action can be taken if required,” he said.

Deanna Emberg says her daughter Natalie was diagnosed at the age of six, which came as a shock since diabetes doesn’t run in their family.

“We were assured that while diabetes is a serious condition with life-threatening consequences if not managed well, that it can be managed, our girl could still do all the things that she wanted to do, including eating ice cream and playing sports,” she said.

Diabetes Canada Regional Director said one in 300 students live with diabetes, and that these recommendations represent significant progress toward a more supportive school environment for students with Type 1 diabetes in our province.

“These students, like anyone living with Type 1 diabetes, require multiple daily injections or infusions of insulin, and multiple blood glucose tests each day, throughout the day, as well as balancing other variables such as sleep, exercise and stress levels to manage their blood glucose,” he said.

Emberg has three wishes for the implementation of these guidelines.

“That schools will understand how to keep our kids healthy, safe and included. I really hope that the burden of advocacy and guilt will be reduced for parents and guardians,” lastly she said. “I hope that school and health authorities will go one step further and reduce the systemic barriers that really prevent us from placing our children’s well-being at the centre of a system of support that will really work for children, families and schools.”