From left: Moona Masri-Whitice, Executive Director of The Art of Business; Dr Abdulla O Al Hamaq, Executive Director of Qatar Diabetes Association; Dr Mahmoud Alzoud, Paediatric Consultant at the Endocrine and Diabetes Section at Hamad Hospital; Wahiba Al Saadi, Health and Hygiene Specialist at Oryx GTL and Katia Saba, Assistant Public Relations and Communications Manager at Oryx GTL, during the press conference at W Hotel yesterday. Shaival Dalal
DOHA: Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA) has called for special attention to be paid to diabetic children and training for school nurses, teachers and bus drivers to handle such youngsters in case of an emergency.
Recommendations are included in a diabetes guide issued by QDA targeting the academic community.
The 72-page guide “for school personnel for care of students with diabetes” marks the launch of the second phase of QDA’s campaign ‘Rights of students with diabetes’. The campaign aims at helping school nurses and staff assist students in diabetes management during school hours and within the school premises.
“Bus drivers should get to know which students have diabetes. Consideration may be given to seating a student with diabetes in the front of the bus, if assigned seating arrangements are enforced. Allow students with diabetes to eat and drink during the bus ride,” says the guide.
Bus drivers should be made aware that a student’s behaviour change could be a symptom of blood glucose changes.
School buses should have supplies ready to treat low blood glucose in children and drivers should be aware of where students with diabetes normally keep their supplies.
Bus crews have been advised to treat children with diabetes the same as other students, except to respond to medical needs and respect their confidentiality and right to privacy.
“Students with diabetes can have problems despite the best efforts at control. School staff need to identify what constitutes an emergency situation and what to do about it,” says the guide.
It is important that a student has “clean” hands before checking his or her blood glucose level. The student may need to wash hands in the rest room if there are no facilities in the classroom.
Special care should be given to children with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Missing meals or snacks and delay in the snack or meal, smaller carbohydrate content in the meal and unplanned physical activities are common causes of hypoglycemia.
“Never attempt to give the student food or a drink or put anything in the mouth because it could cause choking when they are suffering from severe hypoglycemia. Students should never be left alone or sent anywhere alone when experiencing hypoglycemia,” says the guide.