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Schools "failing diabetic children"

Failings in England's primary schools could be putting children with diabetes at risk, a charity has warned.

Up to 6,500 children with type 1 diabetes face potential health problems because only 16% of the primary schools they attend have a medications policy and administer insulin, according to Diabetes UK.

This often means parents have to go in every day to administer the drug, or children have to change their injection times regardless of the impact on their health, according to the report.

Some parents have also told the charity their children have been made to eat alone, inject insulin in school toilets or, in one case, wait outside the school gates until a nurse arrives.

The charity published the findings to mark World Diabetes Day on November 14 and is now calling for government action to improve support for children suffering from the condition.

Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: "It is unacceptable for medication regimes to be changed to fit around school hours. Children must have the most appropriate treatment for their diabetes and be properly supported in managing their condition."

If not managed effectively, diabetes can lead to long-term complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation.

Copyright © Press Association 2008

Diabetes UK

Do you agree primary schools are failing diabetic children? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"I have to say that my daughter who is an insulin controlled diabetic is looked after very well by her primary school. The community diabetic liaison nusrse went into the school to discuss my daughter's needs with the school, and she has been given an appointed member of staff who is there to observe administration of her insulin at lunchtimes. Beatrice has
never been excluded from any activities or outings with the school. I would give a 10/10 for Bramhope Primary School in Leeds." - Caroline J Sutcliffe, Leeds