Parents on child diabetes alert

News story
News story

A WIGAN health chief has issued urgent guidelines to parents amid concerns about soaring diabestes diagnoses among children.

Dr Tim Dalton, local GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group has warned families to watch out for first signs of the condition after it was revealed more than 1,000 more children were discovered to have it last year than the year before.

It is very important that you see your local GP and get early help if your child has symptoms of diabetes

Dr Tim Dalton

An audit by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health found a “worryingly high” number of teenagers are showing early signs of potentially serious complications.

But Dr Dalton stressed that if a parent takes sensible steps to help prevent the condition then children will still be able to lead a long, fulfilling life.

He said: “The majority of children who develop diabetes will have type 1 diabetes which is where the body is unable to produce insulin.

“This will generally mean that a child will need regular insulin injections.

“Parents and their child generally will be referred to a specialist diabetes care team who include a consultant paediatrician who specialises in diabetes; a children’s diabetes specialist nurse, a dietician who is familiar with the needs of children and sometimes a psychologist with a speciality in children who all work together to control blood sugar levels for the child.

“However type 2 diabetes is also rising in children which can be linked to obesity so it makes sense for your child to eat sensibly, remain active, allow the school nurse to weigh your child and follow any advice they may provide to you.

“The good news is that by taking sensible steps, parents can help their children live a normal, fulfilling life and manage their diabetes.

“It is very important that you see your local GP and get early help if your child has symptoms of diabetes.”

Nearly one in five youngsters aged 11 and under, and one in four over the age of 12, who have type 1 diabetes are classed as obese.

Despite this, the percentage of children with excellent diabetes control has improved steadily over the last two years.

Health chiefs add that of course, encouraging youngsters to exercise and eat healthily can prevent them from developing the condition in the first place.