If Present Trends Continue, One in Three Children will Develop Diabetes in their Lifetime
Judith Fradkin, M.D., Director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, & Metabolic Diseases, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
(Washington, DC, Thursday, September 5, 2013) – The National Diabetes Education Program, or NDEP, is extending the reach and visibility of its free resources for youth with diabetes, families, and health care professionals to emphasize the importance of comprehensive care for youth with diabetes in the home, in school settings, and as youth transition to adult care.
As the summer winds down and back-to-school season arrives, NDEP wants parents of youth with diabetes to understand how to help their child effectively manage diabetes, the importance of working with school personnel from the school health team to implement the provisions of their child’s written diabetes care plan and provide the necessary assistance in the school environment.
About 215,000 Americans younger than age 20 have diabetes. If present trends continue, one in three children born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Type 2 diabetes, although still rare in young people, is being diagnosed more frequently in children and adolescents. When children and adolescents who have diabetes take care of their disease, they can avoid serious complications. Diabetes must be managed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When it comes to ensuring the safety of a child with diabetes at school, it’s important for parents to work with school personnel to make sure that the school understands and can implement their child’s diabetes care plan. It’s critical for teens and young adults with diabetes, their families, and the health care team to work together to help youth make a smooth transition from pediatric to adult health care.
Key Messages Include:
- As students head back to school, it’s important to create a healthy environment to keep students with diabetes – and students at risk for type 2 diabetes – healthy and safe at school.
- For students with diabetes, this means working with school personnel to make sure they understand what a student needs to manage their diabetes while they are at school – whether they are on the school campus, or participating in school events and field trips.
- Schools play an important role in providing students with a healthy environment, particularly when it comes to aspects such as school food services, physical education, and classroom activities that promote behavior change that can lower a student’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
- Call 1-888-693-NDEP (1-888-693-6337) or visit www.YourDiabetesInfo.org to find resources from the National Diabetes Education Program that can help school personnel, parents, and students work together to promote a healthy learning environment.