COVID-19 - Children With Diabetes Returning To School

COVID-19 - Children With Diabetes Returning To School

The NZ Clinical Network for Children and Young People with Diabetes advises that it is safe for children and young people with diabetes to be at school when they are open. It's also important for children and young people with diabetes (5 years of age and over) to have the COVID-19 vaccine. 

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Can my child or teen with diabetes return to school?

The Clinical Network for Children and Young People with Diabetes is advising that it is safe for your child to go to school when schools are open.

What is the current understanding about COVID-19 and children?

  1. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, children, particularly younger children, were less likely than adults to catch SARS-CoV2 (the virus causing COVID-19). There was also evidence that children didn't spread the virus as much as adults.
  2. Since then, more infectious variants of COVID-19 have developed - most recently, the Omicron variant. Also, increasing numbers of adults have had immunisation against COVID-19.
  3. There is now evidence of increasing COVID-19 infections in children.
  4. There is also evidence of COVID-19 spreading between age groups (for example, between adults and children).

What is the current understanding about COVID-19 and children with diabetes?

  1. There is some evidence that children with type 1 diabetes are at more risk of getting severe illness with COVID-19. There is no data available on the Omicron variant for children with type 1 diabetes, but it has generally been a milder illness.
  2. It's important for parents and caregivers of young people with type 1 diabetes to have the COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. It's also important for children and young people with diabetes (5 years of age and over) to have the COVID-19 vaccine. This is because it can be challenging to manage glucose levels when you are sick with COVID-19. Children 5 years of age and over can have the vaccine now.

Please use this opportunity to make sure that you have 4 to 6 weeks worth of insulin and other diabetes management aids. While supply lines are assured, if the whole family is forced to self-isolate, it would be easier to know that diabetes management supplies are not a concern.

Find out about COVID-19 immunisation for children and teens with diabetes

Acknowledgements

The content on this page has been approved by the Clinical Network for Children and Young People with Diabetes, Paediatric Society of New Zealand.

This page last reviewed 28 January 2022.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it