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Self-care in public places

When in public places, people with diabetes must be allowed to do what is necessary to prevent or treat low or high blood sugar, including:

  • checking blood sugar;
  • administering insulin;
  • carrying a supply of fast-acting sugar and extra snacks; and
  • treating low or high blood sugar as needed.

Read Diabetes Canada's full position statement on self-care in public places, including background and rationale.

Most public places accommodate people with diabetes. Under human rights legislation, you have the right to be free from discrimination when you receive goods or services, or use facilities. This applies to restaurants, stores, recreation facilities and other venues, malls, public transit, etc. As well, service providers have a duty to accommodate diabetes-related needs, unless they can show just cause for not doing so (e.g. health and safety risk).

You have the right to check your blood sugar and administer insulin whenever/wherever needed, unless doing so would create a safety risk for you or others around you (e.g. crowded spaces where you may be easily jostled or if involved in an activity that requires your full attention for safety reasons). You are responsible for following standard safety precautions when handling sharps and for disposing of sharps and related materials in a safe and appropriate manner.

If you find yourself at a venue where food is not permitted or is confiscated, calmly explain that you have diabetes and that you need to carry a snack and/or drink to manage your blood sugar and prevent an emergency situation. If you have access to a smart phone, pull up information (like this page) to help venue staff better understand your right to carry food/drink and, if needed, ask to speak to a manager. 

Contact us for support

For support and more information about your rights.

Information and support services

1-800-BANTING (226-8464)

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