Making schools better places for children with diabetes

TORONTO, Sept. 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Keeping children with diabetes safe, healthy and fully involved in school activities is the goal of the following initiatives being announced today by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) in Toronto:

  • The North American launch of the global Kids and Diabetes in Schools (KiDS) project and information pack offering resources to teachers, children and parents
  • The launch of the KiDS app for iPad to help school personnel quickly access crucial information about diabetes so they will know how to assist students living with diabetes. This KiDS and Diabetes in Schools app is available at the Apple app store
  • The release of new CDA Guidelines for the Care of Students Living with Diabetes at School and the position statement on Kids Living with Diabetes at School

Along with the challenges all students experience at school, those living with diabetes have a daily need to balance food, medication and physical activity. They often encounter an absence of accurate knowledge about diabetes in their schools.

IDF and its partners, including Sanofi, developed the KiDS project to help schools, children, and families create a safe and supportive school environment and to raise awareness of the benefits of healthy nutrition and exercise habits. As well as the management of type 1 diabetes in schools, the project supports the prevention of type 2 diabetes, which is on the rise among younger age groups. IDF estimates that Canada has 1,447 new cases of type 1 diabetes in children each year, one of the highest incidence rates in the world.

As part of the KiDS project, an information pack will be available to teachers, parents and children along with training sessions to educate school personnel on diabetes, the symptoms associated with high and low blood sugar, and how to respond in case of emergency situations.

"By tackling diabetes early on in schools, the KiDS project has a unique opportunity to influence how we perceive and manage diabetes in and outside of school," said Dr. David Chaney, Senior Education Specialist at IDF.

He continued: "We want children to feel comfortable managing their diabetes in school, while at the same time educating their care-giving network on the best way to deal with diabetes. This project has the potential to make a significant positive impact."

The KiDS global project information pack for schools is available for free in six languages at www.idf.org/education/kids. Internationally, the KiDS initiative is being piloted in India and Brazil with education sessions underway in schools across New Delhi and Sao Paulo.

The CDA Position Statement and Guidelines will help clarify essential roles and responsibilities for the care of students living with diabetes among students, parents, school personnel and health-care providers.

Rick Blickstead, CDA President and CEO, said: "Our goal is to improve the health, safety and participation of the 33,000 elementary and high school aged children in Canada with diabetes. A team-based approach is needed for them. We are delighted to work with governments and school boards to develop needed policies as well as helping school personnel, children and parents across Canada to support these children as much as possible."

"The guidelines and practical resources made available today will make it easier for children with diabetes to stay safe and healthy in our schools. It is definitely a team effort and we are happy the families and schools now have more help available for them," said the Honourable Dipika Damerla, Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

"Sanofi Canada is extremely pleased that the KiDS initiative, born out of a partnership with IDF, is rolling out in Ontario," claims Martin Arès, Vice-President, Diabetes Patient-Centered Unit, Sanofi Canada. "It is proof that by working together, with the needs of patients at the core of what we do, we can reach our common goal of helping people of all ages manage the complex and growing challenges of diabetes and dispel misconceptions around the disease."

About the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) - www.diabetes.ca
Nine million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes and the CDA is the registered charity that helps them live healthy lives through education and a wide array of support services. The CDA also provides resources to health-care professionals on the best practices to care for people with diabetes. Further, the CDA also promotes policies to governments to meet the needs of people with diabetes and funds Canadian research on better treatments and to find a cure.

International Diabetes Federation (IDF) - www.idf.org
The IDF is an umbrella organisation of more than 230 national diabetes associations in more than 170 countries. It represents the interests of the growing number of people with diabetes and those at risk. IDF has been leading the global diabetes community since 1950. Its mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide.

About Sanofi - www.sanofi.ca
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the rare diseases. Sanofi companies employ 1,700 people in Canada and in 2013 they invested $129 million in Canadian R&D.

SOURCE Canadian Diabetes Association

For further information:

Paul Kilbertus
Senior Manager, Strategic Communication, CDA
Paul.Kilbertus@Diabetes.ca
Office: 416-408-7083
Cell: 416-866-5187

For more information on the global KiDS project contact: 
Sara Webber
PR Coordinator, IDF
sara.webber@idf.org
Tel.: +32 496 12 94 70