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Children and type 2 Diabetes

You probably can’t make a new year’s resolution on behalf of your children, but you can help them lead a healthy lifestyle. Watch out for type 2 diabetes symptoms and take them to their doctor or Link pharmacy for a screening to test their blood sugar levels.

A multi-site study by The John Hopkins Children’s Centre revealed a steep rise in the number of children with new onset type 2 diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it is unclear whether the virus infection itself was a factor in this increase, the investigators pointed to virtual learning and the closing of sport and school activities during this time as likely causes.

These findings are closely associated with Stanford Medicine’s advice on how to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in children through a healthy diet, weight loss (if needed) and exercise.

The Mayo Clinic advises that type 2 diabetes may develop gradually so there are often no noticeable symptoms until picked up in a routine check-up with the child’s doctor. Without treatment, it can cause heart disease, nerve and kidney damage, impaired vision and other irreversible injuries to organs.

Parents should be watching out for the following symptoms in their children:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Darkened areas of skin
  • Unexplained weight loss (although this is more common with type 1 diabetes than type 2 diabetes)
  • Frequent infections

See your child’s doctor if any of these symptoms are noticed. The Mayo Clinic recommends a diabetes screening for children who have started puberty or are at least 10 years old, overweight, or have at least one risk factor for type 2 diabetes.



While all reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, information may change or become dated, as new developments occur. The Link group shall not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy, completeness or correctness of any information for any purpose. No content in this article, irrespective of the date or reference source, should be viewed as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, pharmacist or any other suitably qualified clinician.