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Childhood Diabetes: What You Need to Know

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November marks American Diabetes Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about diabetes. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014, 9.3 percent of Americans have diabetes and approximately .25 percent of those people – 208,000 individuals – are below the age of 20.

There are several things you can do to prevent your child’s chances of getting diabetes. It starts with making healthier choices for yourself and your child. To combat your child’s risk of type 2 diabetes, Indiana University Health suggests the following:

  • Drink more water and limit sugary drinks
  • Reduce fast food intake
  • Eat fruits and vegetables more often
  • Exercise for 60 minutes each day
  • Limit screen time (e.g. T.V., computer and phone time)

While the above list will get your child started on the path to a healthier lifestyle, you should always be aware of the warning signs and symptoms associated with childhood diabetes. If you are concerned about your child’s health based on the following warning signs, contact your physician to set up an appointment.

Although the above symptoms may hint that your child has diabetes, some of the symptoms can also be isolated incidents. For example, your child may urinate at night for other reasons, or he or she may have blurry vision because of dizziness from not drinking enough water. When these symptoms occur together, however, you should consult a physician with your concerns about your child’s health.

For more information about childhood diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association

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