There he is, as listless as a sloth. Your once “bouncing off the walls” toddler who had you pulling out your hair is now making you pull out your hair for another reason: you can’t figure out what’s wrong with him.
You thought it was the flu, but this has been going on for weeks.
You consider the fact that your time-strapped schedule has thrown you off your dietary game, but he’s devouring fruits and veggies faster than you can chop ’em.
This may be a time to ask…
Table Of Contents
“What are 5 signs and symptoms of diabetes in toddlers?”
image source: MomJunction
Toddlers Can Get Diabetes Too?
Yup. Though both type 1 and type 2 diabetes (I’m not the only one who heard “diabeetus”, right? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here) are typically associated with people over the age of 20, even babies can have diabetes.
Let us throw some stats your way, compliments of the American Diabetes Association:
- 29.1 million Americans (adults and kids included) had diabetes symptoms in 2012. This accounts for 9.3% of the population
- 1.25 million Americans (again, adults and kids) had type 1 diabetes
- Around 208,000 Americans who are under the age of 20 are believed to have diagnosed diabetes (that’s about 0.25% of that population)
- 18,436 youth were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 2008 and 2009
- 5,089 youth were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between 2008 and 2009
Video by: dreamflight6000
What Happens When Diabetes Is Left Untreated?
Diabetes may be common, but that doesn’t mean that your toddler should not be checked and treated ASAP.
Do not assume that because your little bubsy is still young enough that his health won’t be negatively affected because you couldn’t get out of the house and take him to a doctor.
Kidney disease is probably the most prevalent diabetes-related health issues toddlers face.
In 2011, 228,924 people of all ages who had kidney failure due to diabetes were living with either a kidney transplant or were living on chronic dialysis (toddler + chronic dialysis = so not happening).
Later issues which your growing toddler may be forced to deal with is hypoglycemia, hypertension, an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, blindness or other eye issues, and one or lower limbs may need to be amputated.
How Can I Tell If My Toddler Has Diabetes?
Here’s the thing: Toddlers can’t exactly talk.
Not only that, but they don’t know what “normal” is, so asking a question like if they feel “normal” or if their eyesight is “normal” lead to an unreliable result.
This means that you, her parent, have to be on the lookout for symptoms that may indicate that your youngster is suffering from either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
1. The Diaper Rash That Won’t Go Away
You’ve layered that cute tush with medicated cream, left him diaperless to “air it out” (and wiped up the many messes along the way), and you have switched between several diaper brands.
Yet the diaper rash persists.
This is a pretty telling indicator that something is up with your little one’s health, and it may be diabetes.
2. An Unquenchable Thirst
If your kid can’t put the sippy cup down for long, then it may be a sign that he’s suffering from diabetes.
This is accompanied by more frequent urination (pee pees) which you will definitely notice as the diapers start stacking up in that Diaper Genie.
3. An Insatiable Hunger
Is your kiddo smacking the table and demanding seconds – nay! – thirds of everything you make? He could be growing, but keep an eye on it, especially if his marked increase in hunger is accompanied by a marked reduction in weight.
4. Too Many Nap Times
Once upon a time we celebrated each and every nap, reveled in them even.
But the moment your toddler takes that extra nap or two in a day, our mommy senses begin to tingle.
We know something’s up.
If he has been drowsy, tired or weak for a few days, call up your doctor.
He may have a virus or he may have a more serious health condition.
5. Heavy and Rapid Breathing
The only time your toddler should be breathing heavy is after one of his crazy runs or a tumbling session at the local gym.
Heavy and rapid breathing is considered a serious symptom of diabetes meaning that he needs to be checked pronto.
See darkened skin around the armpits or the neck of your toddler?
Known as acanthosis nigricans, this may be a sign of type 2 diabetes in your toddler.
image source: Diabetes UK
Diabetes In Toddlers: It’s Not Common, BUT…
- Both type 1 and type 2 can be affecting your toddler.
- Look for the warning signs listed above
- Contact your doctor about any pervasive or strange health issue (you’ll be glad you did)
- Diabetes is treatable and the sooner your kiddo receives treatment, the better his health
A lot of parents have handled their child’s diabetes (high blood sugar) and we would love to hear some real-life tips and advice.
Feel free to comment and post your questions below.