National School Nurse Day is the Wednesday between May 6 and May 12 each year, and it’s the perfect time to express your gratitude for all that your child’s school caregiver does to help keep him or her safe and healthy. Click here to download a special thank-you card that your child can color in to thank the school nurse for helping with his or her diabetes care all year long. Need more ideas? Here’s how other parents of children with type 1 diabetes have shown their appreciation.

Sweets for the Sweet

“We always joke that the nurse’s station is part candy store because of the giant bags of fruit chews she keeps stocked for emergency lows for the three students with type 1 who attend the school (my son being one of them). I decided to play on this theme for our thank-you gift by putting together a basket of gourmet chocolates with a note enclosed telling her that we think she’s the sweetest for the all the good care she’s given our son this past year. She loves chocolate, so it was perfect!”

—Joanie M., Syracuse, N.Y., mom of 8-year-old Nathan

Nurse’s Garden

“I knew our nurse loved gardening, so I asked the principal if we could plant lilac bushes and annual flowers beside the school sign in dedication to her. It was the year she was retiring, so the school had a little assembly and placed a plaque in the garden with her name on it. She was so thankful, but honestly, it was the least we could do for all the help she had given our son over the years. She still goes back every spring and summer to weed the garden and plant new flowers. Every time I drive by, I smile at ‘Mary’s Garden.’”

—Lydia M., Cranberry, N.J., mom of 18-year-old Andrew

Something Handmade

“The most meaningful school nurse gifts we’ve given have been made by my son. One year, I found a superhero cape at the craft store. My son used fabric paint to decorate the back with words like ‘Diabetes Superhero’ and the school year. She framed that one and hung it in her office. Another time, we went a more practical route and bought a bunch of liquid hand soaps. We soaked the labels off and then made new labels using some drawings my son had made. These were also a hit.”

—Angela B., San Jose, Calif., mom of 8-year-old Matthew

Pampering Basket

“We appreciate how hard our school nurse works, so one year to let her know, my daughter and I picked out hand lotions, soaps, loofah scrubbers, and a manicure kit to arrange in a gift basket. You can buy these readymade at almost any department store, of course, but the fun part of this gift was the conversation my daughter had about why her school nurse could use a little rest and relaxation, and which products she would like the best. It made it much more personal!”

—Liz R., Bryn Mawr, Pa., mom of 16-year-old Erica

A Personalized Present

“I really wanted to give our school nurse a thank you gift that recognized her life outside of keeping track of our 7-year-old’s diabetes during the day. Just like diabetes doesn’t define our daughter, it also doesn’t define our school nurse! One day I had my daughter ask the nurse what her hobbies were. She reported back that they were knitting, cooking, and volunteering at a dog rescue shelter. My daughter and I then filled a gift basket with colorful yarn, knitting needles, a few of the latest cookbooks, and lots of dog toys. It was probably the first gift basket of its kind to group these particular things together—and she loved it.”

—Teresa, Buffalo, N.Y., mom of Anna

Inside Joke Gifts

“On the first day we met the school nurse and filled out the school forms, I accidentally walked off with her pen. It shouldn’t have been a big deal, but when I found it in my purse and looked at it, I realized it was a special engraved gold pen that said ‘Thank You for 25 Years of Service.’ Oops! I dropped it off and the nurse was so happy to have it back. She thought she had lost it. At the end of the year, my thank you gift was easy. I bought her a case of pens that read ‘Property of Nurse Allers’ on them. She laughed and told me this was perfect.”

—Brenda C., San Francisco, Calif., mom of 12-year-old Matt

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.

Related topics:
Printable Thank-You Cards for Your Healthcare Provider
Nurturing Your School Nurse Relationship
Gift Ideas for the School Nurse and Other T1D Caregivers

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