Almost all children diagnosed with diabetes have Type 1 (insulin dependent). That means insulin injections and blood testing on a daily basis as well as keeping a keen eye on their diet. However, due to various factors in society (too much food, too little exercise, bad diet) Type 2 diabetes is now being diagnosed in obese children.
Diagnosis of diabetes in a child can be devastating for the parents. It heralds some big and basic changes to the way the family operates and is a huge responsibility for the family and for the child. But it is manageable. Brace yourself to be faced with a lot of new information and a steep learning curve, but try not to let the diagnosis seem like a life sentence for you or your child. They will need a steady supportive hand from you for many years to come and diabetes is likely to be a part of their life, possibly forever, or until a cure becomes available.
After diagnosis, the easiest way to tell one ‘wobbly’ from another is to do a blood test. Your child won’t like you for it, but you will have to assess if your child needs a dose of sugar or a bit of advice about manners!
All diabetes management equipment is smaller, faster, more discreet than at any time that’s gone before, so diabetes management need not be as onerous or obvious as it used to be. So long as your child has his or her equipment with them and knows how to use it and can be persuaded to actually do so, then they’ll be fine. A lot of the equipment is actually quite cool, and most of their friends will get to the point when they’ll want to do a blood test too ‘just to see if they’re OK’.