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Friday, September 3, 2010

Lanyard Tags

It's September. The kids are returning to school (if they haven't returned already, as mine have). 

So I thought I'd share some of the tools and documents I've created to keep Jack safe at school. 

First up: lanyard tags. 

The entire staff at Jack's school wears their ID badges on lanyards. So I created these nifty tags to hang off of their lanyards and accompany their ID badges. These tags are like little cheat sheets, supplying basic diabetes management information.

This is what they look like.

You can see the ID badge hanging behind the diabetes tag.

All of the information I think these tags should contain will not fit on one side of one tag. So I make two tags, giving me four sides on which to place information. 

On the front of tag #1, I detail how to handle low blood sugar.

On the back of tag #1, I provide emergency contact information and glucagon directions.

On the front of tag #2, I focus on high blood sugar.

The back of tag #2 can be left blank or can repeat the information that's on the back of tag #1, providing emergency contact information and glucagon directions. 

Making the tags is a piece of cake. 

To start, use your word processing software to create a document based on the information that I've supplied below. Use the information as is, or tailor it to fit your child.

Make sure your text is small in size, and set the margins of your document, so that when printed, each tag will measure no more than 2.25" x 3.75".  

Go to a print shop, like FedEx Office, and have the document printed, trimmed and laminated.

Tell the printer to trim the paper so that it measures 2.25" x 3.75", before being laminated. 

After being laminated, it should be similar in size to a standard ID badge. It should also have a hole cut in the top, so that it can be worn on the lanyard.

Voila! That's it!

Besides giving one to every teacher and staff person who supervises Jack at school (including the nurse, lunch aides, librarians and art, music, computer and PE teachers), a set hangs off of Jack's D kit. At any given moment, the adult in charge has easy access to the information.

I also distribute these to summer camp counselors, because they wear lanyards, too.

Everyone seems to appreciate the lanyard tags, because they're a convenient reference guide. They don't get in the way. They're easy to carry around and keep on hand. They eliminate the need to memorize vital data. Yet, they ensure that vital data is always available, thereby reducing the stress that can be associated with teaching or supervising a child with diabetes.

I have also compiled the tags' data into a one-page flier that can be kept in a folder on the teacher's desk, posted on a bulletin board and/or given to substitute teachers. The flier is great to give to babysitters and Jack's friends' parents, too.

The flier also features a current photo of Jack.

Here is the tag text.

Tag #1 - Front

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)
Symptoms: Droopiness, Pale Skin, Poor 
Vision, Impaired Thinking, Irritability,
Weakness, Shaking, Hunger, Headache,
What to do for blood sugar <80:
- Do NOT leave Jack unattended.
- For <50, give juice box AND fruit snack.
- For >50, give juice OR fruit snack.
- Retest blood sugar 10 min. later.
What to do for blood sugar 80 – 100:
- For 90-100, give 1 glucose tab.
- For 80-90, give 2 glucose tabs.
- Retest blood sugar 15 min. later.
If Jack will not or can not eat or drink: 
- Rub CakeMate or glucose gel into gums. 
- Call parents or school/camp nurse.
- Retest blood sugar 10 min. later. 
If Jack passes out or has a seizure:
- Give Glucagon. 
- Call 911. 
- Call parents and school/camp nurse.
- Do NOT put food/liquid in his mouth.

(By the way, if you compare the above text to that in the photo, you'll notice differences. That's because I've tweaked the information since our last batch of tags was printed. The next batch will contain this information. I also couldn't get Blogger to recognize the bullet points.)

Tag #2 - Front

High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)
Symptoms: Extreme Thirst, Excess 
Energy, Fatigue, Weakness, Frequent
Urination, Blurred Vision, Hunger                  
What to do for high blood sugar:
- Check blood sugar level.
- Give water.
- Call nurse, who should get insulin
correction dose from parents
and administer insulin.
Symptoms: Dehydration (sunken eyes,
chapped lips), Nausea, Abdominal Pain,
Vomiting, Fruity Smelling Breath,
What to do for ketoacidosis:
Ketoacidosis can lead to coma.
Must be treated immediately.
- Call parents and nurse immediately.
- Check blood sugar level.
- Get insulin correction dose from
parents and administer insulin.
- Give water.

Tags #1 & #2 - Back

Emergency Contact #s 
Heidi Last Name (mom)
    Cell: (123) 456-7890
    Home: (123) 456-7890

Gregg Last Name (dad)
    Cell: (123) 456-7890
    Work: (123) 456-7890

Glucagon Directions
1. Turn Jack on his side.
2. Open red/orange box.
3. Inject all liquid from syringe into
    powdered vial.
4. Swirl to mix well. (Do not shake.)
5. Draw mixture out of vial.
6. Inject into Jack’s thigh. (Do not
    inject through clothing.)


Heather said...

I'm using your idea and making them for Lovebug's preschool staff. It puts my mind at ease. Thank you for the wonderful idea!

Alexis of Justices Misbehaving Pancreas said...

This is great! We did some pamphlets I made, and he carrys a card with him. Im thinking of making one so HE can wear it on his neck.

Way to go!

Tracy (The Crazy Pancreas) said...

I did have these made and even though our teacher thought they were awesome, she is not using it! I need to have more made so I can pass them out myself!

And when I told the Office Max peeps about making them, they are basically luggage tags. :) So I did not have to give them dimensions or ask for a hole on top.

Love it, Heidi!

Heidi / D-Tales said...

I'm so glad you all like the tags!!! :)

@Tracy - Infrequent traveler that I am, I never thought of luggage tags. But, yes, they are just like luggage tags. They simply have different information. I can't believe your teacher isn't wearing hers. Grrr... I'd say something like, "I've noticed your lanyard tags are missing. Did they break? Do you need another set? They're such a great way to keep the Super Hero safe. With them, you don't need to memorize anything. I'll get you another set."

Meri said...

This is awesome! Our teachers don't wear tags, but I almost think the yard duties at lunch do. I'm going to have to check it out. Thank you for this!

shannon said...

This is a tremendous idea, thank you so much for sharing!

NikDuck said...

I am in the midst of preparing school docs and saw the link to this post on another blog. I love your quick summaries of all the important info...especially about how much to give for such specific blood sugar ranges. I have been trying to determine exactly how much to tell them to give for specific #'s and this is perfect. The standard give 15 carbs usually sends her too high. Hope you are having a great summer and back to school goes smoothly for you!! Nicole

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

Nifty idea. It's nice to hear that those asked to wear them also appreciate them.