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Children and diabetes

About one in every 400 children and adolescents have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. If you are a parent or a caregiver of a child with diabetes, these common questions and answers may help you understand more about diabetes care for this age group.


What types of diabetes are there?

There are two main types of diabetes in children:

Type 1 diabetes - The body doesn’t produce the necessary insulin to process the sugar (glucose) in food that the body needs to function. People with type 1 diabetes require daily insulin injections.

Type 2 diabetes - The body does produce insulin, but that insulin isn’t used properly by the body (insulin resistant). People with type 2 diabetes generally require oral medication or insulin to lower their blood glucose levels.


What type of diabetes do children have?

It used to be that type 1 diabetes was called juvenile-onset diabetes because it was the more prevalent form of diabetes in children. However, more recently, the rates of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has been increasing. Overall, children can have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but type 1 is more common in that age group.


Are there diabetes products available just for kids?

Yes, there are diabetes supplies designed especially for children. Your doctor can review with you the supplies needed for your child’s treatment plan. You can also call an Edgepark Customer Care Specialist at 1-888-394-5375 with specific product questions.


Do I need to let my child’s school know about his or her condition?

Your child’s school staff will need to be informed about his or her diabetes diagnosis. If your child is insulin dependent (type 1 diabetes), then he or she will require additional support at school to ensure that blood sugar levels remain within the right range. To learn more about managing your child’s diabetes at school, visit the ADA’s Safe at School information page or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).


What organizations support children with diabetes?

You may want to start your search at the American Diabetes Association, which includes a Web site designed just for kids called Planet D. As your child gets older, you might also review the resources available at The College Diabetes Network.


Related articles:
Diabetes 101
What products are used to manage diabetes?
What are diabetes complications?