Type 1 Diabetes & School Emergency Lockdown Boxes

Emergency drills are a regular practice in schools across the United States to ensure that students and staff are prepared for various types of emergencies. The drills are conducted throughout the school year and may include fire drills, lockdown drills, and evacuation drills.

Lockdown drills are a type of emergency drill that have become more prevalent in recent years due to concerns about school shootings. During a lockdown drill, students and staff practice securing themselves in classrooms or other designated areas and staying quiet until the situation is resolved.

Some schools may also practice other emergency procedures such as shelter-in-place drills or tornado drills, depending on the specific risks in their region. It is important for schools to conduct regular emergency drills to ensure that students and staff are prepared to respond appropriately in the event of an emergency.

Managing Type 1 diabetes during any type of a lockdown or emergency situation requires extra preparation and planning as it can pose special challenges. It’s important to have a plan in place with the school administration for managing diabetes during a lockdown or other emergency, as access to medical care may be limited.

At the beginning of each school year, we communicate with the school administration that we need to have emergency low blood glucose boxes placed in classrooms in case of a school lockdown. We ask for these hypo boxes to be placed in every room our child visits during the school year (gym, music classroom, homeroom, art classroom, etc.). We prepare and provide these boxes to our school every year. On average, I make about 10 boxes that I drop off on the first day of school.

Each hypo box includes whatever fast acting snacks he may need (remember, everyone’s diabetes is different). I do not pack any products containing nuts to be mindful of allergies in the classroom. I include snacks that vary from 4 carbs up to 15 carbs. I also label each snack with its carb count to make things easier for the teachers (I use masking tape and a sharpie). Any tupperware or plastic containers can be used to build this kit. Here is a list of items I use:

Emergency Low BG Kit Image
  • Tupperware or small plastic containers (Amazon & dollar store has the ones with the side snaps)
  • Juice boxes
  • Candy
  • Honey sticks or packets
  • Apple sauce
  • Instructional print out with my child’s picture. I tape the instructions on the top lid of every box I make. This helps remind teachers or subs on what to do in case there is an emergency and they need to use these snacks. I have a free template that you can download and use. See the Free Downloads on the top navigation bar for the template.

A reminder that this accommodation can also be included in your child’s 504 plan that you can review yearly with the school.

Here is my Type 1 Diabetes back to school list for back to school items we prep at the beginning of each school year and here is the blog post I wrote about creating a 504 Plan.

Hope this information is helpful!

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