New State Health Department Guide Provides Parents and School Officials with Important Information on Diabetes

Thomas P. Morahan

May 15, 2009

I want to take this opportunity to recommend to families residing in Rockland and Orange Counties, as well as local school officials, that they make every effort to obtain and review a newly revised guide developed by  the New York State Department of Health.  Entitled, “Children with Diabetes: A Resource Guide for Families and School,” this timely guide is designed to assist families, school officials and others as they work together to care for children with diabetes and help prevent diabetes in children at risk for the disease.

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting our children today, requiring a complex blend of self-care and medical care, an this guide can be an invaluable resource for families and schools to prevent diabetes and help children with diabetes grow up to be healthy and productive adults.

Approximately 9,000 children and youth in New York State are diagnosed with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes accounts for nearly 85 percent of diagnosed diabetes among youth. There are currently no known strategies to prevent Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, which historically has been diagnosed only in adults, is increasingly diagnosed in children due to increased rates of childhood overweight and obesity, a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

The Children with Diabetes resource guide advances a team approach in caring for children with diabetes and provides clearly delineated roles for parents, children, school staff, and the child's health care team. The guide also addresses the serious emerging problem of childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes and provides promising strategies to reduce children's risks for this disease

The updated guide also includes an overview of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes; diabetes-related research, resources and references; clinical practice recommendations and guidelines; medical and technological advances; athletics, travel and special considerations for children with diabetes; emergency and natural disaster preparedness; legal issues related to diabetes care in children; and sample forms, tools and plans.

In addition to assisting families and school personnel, the guide may be used as a resource by diabetes advocates, stakeholders and decision makers interested in learning more about diabetes issues in New York State and the critical role of families, schools and communities in the prevention and control of diabetes. 

Children with Diabetes: A Resource Guide for Families and Schools can be downloaded from the New York State Health Department's website at: