Guest Post

Back to School Supplement: Off to College

By Nicole Sherry, MD
Director, MassGeneral for Children Diabetes Center 

Older kids going off to college for the first time have some of the same decisions to make regarding how much they want to disclose to others (roommates, for example).  Again, these decisions depend on how comfortable they are with their Diabetes.  The one person they absolutely should talk to is their Residential Assistant to make sure they know where the glucagon is kept and how to use it if necessary. 

College age kids generally maintain their same Diabetes care team, regardless of whether they go to school out of state or stay close to home.  If the school is a distance from home, families should look into medical facilities in the area and identify a care team for their child while they’re away.

If students plan on drinking, they should be aware of the potential for hypoglycemia and keep up with their snacks.  We also advise students not to be alone after drinking, and recommend they wear a medical alert bracelet at all times.  Symptoms of low blood sugar can be mistaken for intoxication; a med alert bracelet will alert others that emergency help is needed.

(Poto Credit: Pam Roth)