Kids are sometimes hassled at school
because of their diabetes. But you
can do something about it.
Whenever Anne, 16, from Pennsylvania, eats a cookie in class, she gets weird looks from the other kids, and sometimes they'll even tell her she's not allowed to eat it!
"With some people, I would explain how eating with diabetes works," she reports. "With other people, I would just say, 'Wait a minute! It's my diabetes. I know how to take care of myself!' "
Kids of all ages are sometimes hassled at school because of their diabetes—for a lot of different reasons:
- Some kids mistakenly believe that diabetes is contagious, and that they can catch it from you. (They can't!)
- Others may feel jealous because you seem to be getting special treatment, like being allowed to eat snacks in class or leave class to take injections or test your blood sugar.
- Some well-meaning kids may offer you a piece of candy you can't eat so you won't feel "left out."
- Especially in middle school, insecure kids may tease you about your diabetes the way they would tease someone who's overweight or wears glasses.
Here are some things you can do about it:
Solution #1: Let your parents know! They can tell your teacher what's going on. And sometimes it helps if your parents or your diabetes educator can teach your class about diabetes.
"I would go to the nurse," says Anne. "Go to the principal. Ask your parents to call. Because once people understand what's going on, the problem is usually solved."
Solution #3: Have a quick comeback ready for just this kind of situation. Kids sent us some of their best zingers.