Does My Child Have Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic illness.  It develops when the body no longer makes insulin, or the insulin it makes doesn’t work very well.  Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which controls blood glucose.  Diabetes is diagnosed by blood and urine tests and a medical exam.

To determine if your child has diabetes, the medical team will run tests on your child's blood and urine and talk with you about past medical history and recent symptoms.   

Signs and symptoms that may cause these concerns are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss
  • Increased glucose (sugar) level
  • Ketones in the urine or blood
  • Dehydration
  • Blood and urine tests to look for glucose or ketones.  Ketones are a sign the body needs more insulin.
  • The medical team will discuss the findings of the tests and a plan of care for your child.
  • Your child may need to have an IV.  The IV can be used to give fluids or medicine.
  • Sometimes insulin needs to be given as an injection.  
  • Your child will be monitored closely.  If your child has a headache, is very sleepy or you notice a change in mental function, tell the medical team right away.
  • If the test results show that your child has diabetes, your medical team will arrange for medical treatment and diabetes education.  Nurses and diabetes educators will teach you how to care for your child’s diabetes.  You will also be provided with a binder of printed materials and resources to take home.
  • Feel free to talk with the medical team about any concerns or questions you have while learning about diabetes. Our social workers in the Diabetes Center can help your family adjust to living with diabetes.  Child Life specialists can also help your child cope with being in the hospital.
  • Once initial education is complete, your child will be scheduled for follow-up education with the diabetes educators. You will also be given phone numbers to reach medical staff with any questions you might have when your child returns home.
Diabetes is a chronic illness that can be controlled. Proper management of diabetes will allow your child to lead a healthy and active life. There are many resources that can provide further information and support. The medical team will be happy to give you resources about diabetes.

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Last Updated 09/2016