The incidence of diabetes among children is increasing in many countries with some 79,000 children under 15 years estimated to develop type 1 diabetes annually worldwide. In addition evidence shows that type 2 diabetes is growing in children and adolescents around the world at an alarming rate. Increasing levels of childhood obesity and physical inactivity in many countries mean that type 2 diabetes in childhood has become a global public health issue.
One of the key elements in a child's life is school. Here it is expected that children will have the opportunity to form friendships and develop knowledge in a safe and supportive environment. Unfortunately for many children with diabetes lack of knowledge within school about diabetes and their needs has led to issues such as isolation, stigmatisation and guilt.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF), in collaboration with the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) and Sanofi Diabetes, has launched the Kids and Diabetes in Schools (KiDS) project to foster a school environment that creates a better understanding of diabetes and supports children with diabetes. This new project seeks to educate teachers and those who interact with children at school about type 1 diabetes and its management and how type 2 diabetes may be avoided by making effective lifestyle choices.
This multi-stakeholder initiative aims to:
- Foster a safe and supportive school environment for children with diabetes to manage their diabetes and prevent discrimination
- Raise awareness about diabetes and the benefits of healthy diets and physical activity among school-age children
- Teachers (grades 1-9), school nurses/before and after school staff (as relevant)
- School students (age group 6-14 years)
- Policymakers and government Officials
- Development of a Global Diabetes Information Pack for School for teachers and children providing information on diabetes prevention and management, in consultation with experts in diabetes education
- Local adaptation of the Diabetes Information Pack for School to meet cultural and local needs in the first two pilot countries (Brazil and India)
- Dissemination of the Diabetes Information Pack for School in the two countries through training workshops of teachers, in-school activities and social media, in collaboration with Ministries of Health and Education, school and parent representatives.
KiDS Diabetes Information Pack
The IDF Kids and Diabetes in School (KiDS) Information Pack aims to:
- Increase awareness of diabetes in school
- Improve the lives of children with diabetes at school and fight discrimination
- Help teachers address the topic of diabetes and the importance of a healthy lifestyle
Other objectives include:
- Removing myths about diabetes.
- Informing school staff, parents and schoolchildren about type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- Providing a management plan for schools to efficiently manage children with diabetes
- Developing actions for children to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes