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The Sims brings diabetes education to schools

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Springfield – Parents will be able to better understand the signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in their children under a measure led by State Sen. Elsie R. Sims Jr.

“Providing education about type 1 diabetes is not just a tool; it is a lifeline that can provide our children with guidance toward better self-care and resiliency,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “Schools have an opportunity to make a difference in both the education and health of their students.”

Students and their families can learn more about the symptoms, interventions, and treatments of type 1 diabetes under a Sims-led proposal. Senate Bill 3473 requires the Illinois State Board of Education and the Department of Public Health to compile information resources about this disease and display them on the ISBE website. Public and charter schools also distribute information to parents when their child enrolls.

More than 300,000 children nationwide have type 1 diabetes, yet many children and their families are unaware of it for many years of their lives. It is often not until adulthood that people learn that symptoms such as thirst and weight loss are due to an underlying cause of diabetes.

“When a child is diagnosed with diabetes, parents are often worried and unsure where to turn,” Sims says. “A one-stop shop that includes education and treatment options can go a long way in helping parents navigate unfamiliar situations.”

Senate Bill 3473 passed the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday and heads to the full Senate for further consideration.

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