School openings: Children with diabetes partly excluded from class

School openings: Children with diabetes partly excluded from class

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Corona pandemic: Schools open - do not generally exclude children with diabetes

Schools in Germany were closed in mid-March to delay the further spread of the coronavirus. Officially, regular school operations are scheduled to start again from May 4, but initially gradually and severely. Children and adolescents with diabetes are excluded from classes at various facilities. Experts criticize this regulation.

In the past few weeks, more than ten million schoolchildren have been unable to go to school due to the corona pandemic. School operations in Germany are now being carefully restarted. Nationwide there are individual institutions that initially exclude children and adolescents with diabetes. There is now criticism of this.

People with diabetes are at risk

According to a message from the German Diabetes Society (DDG), the facilities refer to the advice of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) that people with diabetes belong to the risk group.

For example, the RKI writes on its website about the course of the COVID 19 disease: "Various underlying diseases such as Cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, diseases of the respiratory system, liver and kidney, and cancer appear to increase the risk of developing a severe disease regardless of age. ”

In a statement, the DDG points out that, according to current international research, children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes do not develop COVID-19 more often or more severely than other children.

The statement states: "According to the current state of knowledge, children and adolescents with diabetes have no higher risk of having a severe course of the disease if their metabolism is stable."

No evidence of an increased risk of serious illness

According to the RKI, around 9,000 children and adolescents have been diagnosed with the corona virus in Germany (as of April 27, 2020).

Since the disease is usually mild at this age, the number of unreported cases is estimated to be much higher. For this reason, there is little data available on the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection in minors.

However, from a Chinese study and oral reports by Italian diabetologists, there is no evidence that children and adolescents with diabetes mellitus have an increased risk of a severe course of a viral infection.

"From a child's diabetes perspective, there is nothing to be said against the fact that around 30,000 children and adolescents with diabetes are attending school in the course of the school openings that are currently planned," summarizes DDG Vice President Professor Dr. med. Andreas Neu from Tübingen the current medical knowledge.

The expert refers to the opinion of the AG Pediatric Diabetology (AGPD), which has compiled the most current information on this.

As the DDG explains, this is based on a data collection by the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD), from which no serious connections between COVID-19 and children with diabetes could be derived to date.

Affected families are unnecessarily troubled

Nevertheless, some federal states such as Thuringia have decided to initially exclude children with diabetes from attendance classes and refer to the general information provided by the RKI that diabetes patients belong to the risk group.

“We have never known a child with type 1 diabetes who would have been harmed by COVID-19. Our findings on the course of infection in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes suggest that they are no more at risk than their peers and can therefore participate in everyday life as normal, ”says Dr. Thomas Kapellen, spokesman for the "Pediatric Diabetology" working group at the DDG.

The specialist criticizes that the families affected are now unnecessarily troubled by bureaucratic decisions in individual regions to continue to care for them.

From an organizational and psychosocial point of view, in his opinion, it is questionable to keep these children away from class without objective medical reasons and only because of their diabetes. "This would amount to discrimination," says children's diabetologist Neu.

Follow recommended protective measures

Of course, the recommended protective measures such as hand hygiene, wearing a nose and throat protection and distance regulations should be observed.

If you have COVID-19, the same recommendations for managing diabetes apply as for other respiratory viral infections.

"Since an increased insulin requirement is to be expected in the course of the infection, patients should measure their blood sugar or check the sensor glucose values ​​more frequently," advises Kapellen, children's diabetologist from Leipzig.

If the blood sugar level is high, the insulin dose must be adjusted accordingly. If the blood sugar levels are persistent and poor, those affected should contact their doctor. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • German Diabetes Society (DDG): School openings: Children with diabetes can take part in lessons - The DDG warns of general exclusion, (accessed: May 3, 2020), German Diabetes Society (DDG)
  • Robert Koch Institute (RKI): RKI Daily Management Report on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), (accessed: May 3, 2020), Robert Koch Institute (RKI)
  • Robert Koch Institute (RKI): Information and support for people at higher risk for a severe COVID-19 disease course, (access: May 3, 2020), Robert Koch Institute (RKI)
  • Pediatric Diabetology Group: Information on SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus Infection) in Children and Adolescents with Diabetes, (accessed: May 3, 2020), Pediatric Diabetology Group

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