There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the cells that make insulin. Most children with diabetes have this type. They must have insulin injections or use an insulin pump. Symptoms usually appear over a few days or weeks as sugar accumulates in their blood. They may be really thirsty, need to urinate very frequently, and be very hungry. They may lose weight and be unusually tired. Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults, often in those who are overweight. It is occurring more often in children now, most often in children who are obese. Diet or oral medication usually controls symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. Being overweight and having a family member with diabetes are risk factors for developing diabetes. Blood sugar tests determine the treatment for diabetes.
For more information about diabetes, see
• Managing Children with Chronic Health Needs in Child Care and Schools, available from the bookstore of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
• National Diabetes Education Program's Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel
• Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Reviewed and reaffirmed 6/2021