Diabetes school supplies for a pre-teen child

What diabetes school supplies do you assemble for the beginning of the school year?

My son was diagnosed during the 2015-2016 school year. We had a hard time putting together our first D kit for school! Now, in our third school year, we have an easier time. This post describes our diabetes school kit. I would love to read what others do differently!

Our school kit includes 3 stashes beyond his own D carry bag: one for the health room fridge, one for the health room supplies locker (it includes the juice boxes), and one for our son’s personal locker:


Each box is labeled. The fridge box is a Lock & Lock sealed box. The two unrefrigerated locker boxes are two “Really Useful Box” boxes that are 9" L x 5" W x 5" H. The Lock & Lock boxes have proven great (we use them for all fridge storage, in different sizes). The size of the Really Useful Boxes fits our needs well, but they have had handles breaking. These are replacements. If we find better we will switch.

The first stash is for our son’s locker:


We use it primarily to allow our son to resupply his D bag in case he is short something. The box has skittles for his sugar tubes (each skittle is about 1 gram of carbs, so it’s an easy measure), several 17-carb bars in case he has a sustained low, and spare needles, lancets and strips.

The second stash is for the health room fridge:

The pen includes an unopened insulin cartridge, that we rotate every quarter. We leave some needles in there for convenience just in case. We also add a cooler bag in the box to layer over the pen, so as to provide thermal inertia. We try to leave the box (a) away from the freezer exhaust, (b) in a middle shelf, and (c ) close to the front of a shelf, to minimize freezing risk – but we are not in control of the exact storage location day by day. Our part-time nurse knows about our wishes though.

The third stash is for the health room supplies locker:

This location is easy to access, but not quite as fast as his locker. It is also where emergency school personnel will look for his supplies if there is a diabetic emergency. In the locker, we keep:

  • a bunch of 14-carb juice boxes, shown on the first pic but not on this one
  • a glucagon kit that is good until the end of the school year
  • spare batteries for his pump
  • enough supplies for two changes of pods (i.e. infusion sets, for Omnipod pump), including 2 pods, alcohol swabs, adhesive release swabs, Skintac swabs.
  • more spare supplies: needles, strips, lancets
  • a box of ketone sticks
  • a few 17-carb bars
  • and, finally, emergency sugar in the form of pre-weighed mini-ziplocs that carry 15 carbs of sugar in raisins (very compact).

What do you do differently? How do you organize school supplies?


This will be a great resource for us. Thanks @Michel!


Michel, We do much of the same minus the food. When our son was still in Junior High, we stashed the sugar and juice boxes in the three rooms he was most likely to have a low in, i.e. Gym (teachers office), right after lunch, and the last period of the day. Now that he is in high school, we just have the extra food in his locker, and of course on him.

Instead of the full bottle of ketone strips, we just put a few into each of three vacuum sealed pouches, which allowed them to stay good even though there was high temps and humidity (no air con), which with our bottle at home makes them go bad in 1/2 a year.

We also stuck a spare meter and some vacuum sealed strips in there.


This isn’t specific to school, but just a general thought - one I shared with Harold before - quarters or dollar bills are often helpful. As long as there is a vending machine at the school. I know some schools don’t allow them.

I see pods, but I didn’t see an insulin vial. I see a pen. You can fill a pod with a pen, just wasn’t sure if that was your plan. But maybe useful for him to know he can do that if he needs to!

Also, a couple of syringes are always nice to have. In an emergency you can pull insulin out of an old pod or a broken pen with a syringe! You can also do it with the refill syringe that comes with the pod, but I wouldn’t want to dose myself with that, since the smallest mark is 80 units. :crazy_face:

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Great idea!

Our son already has a hand meter in his bag and a meter in his PDM, so we figured we would not need to add to that. But it makes total sense to plan for a spare meter.

great idea also, I will add that. Although I’ll have to think of how, because “lockers” are not locked at the school.

Yes, that is the plan. He is already accustomed to filling his pod from a pen, so he knows how.

I figured we had enough redundancy between the pods and the extra pen. But it could not do any harm to add that.

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Pens are only good at delivering insulin. But syringes can be used to take insulin from one place, and put it in another place! Always a useful thing to have in any kit!

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Seriously??? That’s crazy!

Something like this maybe?
Money Belt

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Well - you are allowed to bring your own lock, but nobody does. it is considered weird in the school - and you know how important peer pressure is among children.

Last year, at the beginning of the school year, someone was pilfering my son’s diabetic sugar reserves in his locker. I was going to have a talk with the school, but my son told me that he wanted to deal with it himself. He had a word with the suspected party in question and it stopped :slight_smile:

Also, we live in the rural midwest here, you know. We leave our doors and cars unlocked, and our garages open – except in winter :slight_smile: Whenever something gets stolen, the police typically know right away whose kid did it (pretty much always kids). Old fashioned place.


This is how EVERY Investigation ID show starts…


It’s also how every swingers’ community starts


“The lifestyle” huh? :wink:

Somehow I don’t think this is what’s going to happen around here :slight_smile:

And the award for “Most Bizarre Thread Hijack in a Diabetes Forum” goes to…



And by dos he means 2

@Sam, your comment is somewhat obscure :slight_smile:

If your locker is subject to heat and cold, I like the idea of storing your supplies in multiple teachers’ offices, nurses’ offices, etc. just for temperature regulation.

I’m old now, but in school my lockers were outdoors and was subjected to high heat (and direct sunlight) and cold overnight lows. The lockers themselves were uninsulated sheet metal (aluminum probably).