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Diabetes Presentation ideas for school


Sending your child with diabetes to school can be stressful enough but many parents also find it necessary to also educate their children's peers.  Doing this in an interesting and age appropriate way can be exceptionally difficult. Below are ideas that have worked for various age levels. If you have something that has worked for you, please allow us to share your idea with others.

Key points...


Remember to cater your presentation to the age of the children. Their attention span will not be long. Find some way to "grab" their attention. Focus on how important it is for the to NOT touch a child's pump or diabetes supplies. Also emphasize how important it is for them to "help" by recognizing the signs of highs and lows in their classmate.

Kindergarten and Grade one

Reading the book, Taking Diabetes to School is a great resource to teach children about diabetes and how it impacts the lives of those living with the disease. You may also want to bring Rufus or Ruby along as a visual aid.  These bears have pieces of cloth to show where injections, infusion sets, and glucose testing can take place.  There are also pumps for these bears. 

Grade two and three

Supplies required:
2 8-inch square clear glass Pyrex dishes
2 colored sponges
1 glass of water
a few ice cubes
1 container of boiling (or very super hot) water

Explain that type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas in the body no longer makes insulin. Insulin is used to help break down the sugars in our bodies so they can go into the cells. They go into the cells so we can have energy.

Then slowly pour in the left Pyrex dish (with the sponge sitting in it) the first glass of water. Ask the kids what the water is doing.  It is going into the sponge.  CORRECT! That is what happens when our sugars are broken down so they can get into our cells. Next place an ice cube on top of the sponge sitting in the second Pyrex dish. Ask them what is happening to that ice cube. It is not doing anything.  CORRECT! Even though it is still “water” (being in an ice cube format), it cannot get into the sponge. This is what happens to our bodies if we do not have insulin to break down the food we eat. We all need insulin. _____  has to put it into his body (via injection) since his body does not make it himself anymore. Then  pour the boiling hot water over the ice cube and explain to them that this was ______’s insulin that he put into his body. Ask them what is now happening to the ice cube. It is melting.  CORRECT! The ice cube (or _____’s food that he eats) is being broken down by the hot water (or by the insulin he takes).

Grades one through five

 

Kool-Aid Experiment

.Talk about too much and too little sugar and the symptoms associated with highs and lows. The child can test and show the class what is involved and what the normal range should be.

Then make "blood-red" Kool-Aid (remember to use the packs that require you to add your own sugar!) by mixing the powder and water.

Save one cup, without any sugar. Then  add 1 spoon of sugar to the pitcher and asked who wants some. The kids figured out that it had "too little" sugar, just like when their friend's blood sugar is too low.

Next, make one pitcher with 2 cups of sugar minus the 1 spoon and asked who wants some. The kids figured out that it had "too much" sugar, just like when their friend's blood sugar was too high.
 
Finally  mix both pitchers together, so it was just right. In the spare cup of Kool-Aid, we added artificial sweetener, so that my son could had a drink without affecting his blood sugar. The rest of the class shared the regular Kool-Aid.