DIABETES UK is urging parents not to let coronavirus fears stop them from seeking medical help if they’re worried their child is showing the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes.
Echoing comments made by Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England that the public should – as they always have done – seek emergency care if they need it, the charity is reminding parents of the four ‘Ts’ of Type 1 diabetes, and reassuring them that if they need urgent help – the NHS is open.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common form in children and young people.
However new research from Diabetes UK has found that 23 per cent of all newly diagnosed children and young people with Type 1 diabetes in England and Wales were not formally diagnosed until they had become seriously ill with diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA.
DKA is life threatening but, in most cases, preventable.
Acting quickly can save lives, so Diabetes UK wants to raise awareness of the common early symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, so that children are diagnosed sooner and more safely.
What are the four ‘Ts’?
Toilet – Going to the toilet a lot, bed wetting by a previously dry child or heavier nappies in babies
Thirsty – Being really thirsty and not being able to quench the thirst
Tired – Feeling more tired than usual
Thinner – Losing weight or looking thinner than usual
These symptoms of Type 1 diabetes are also the most common symptoms in adults, who should equally be Type 1 aware, and other symptoms can include infections such as thrush, or blurred vision.
Dan Howarth, head of care at Diabetes UK said: “We know that parents currently have a million things on their mind, and they’re doing everything they can to keep themselves and their families safe during the coronavirus outbreak.
“But diabetic ketoacidosis can be a life-threatening complication of diabetes. If a child or young person does not receive immediate treatment for DKA, it can lead to coma, or even death.
“It is vital that parents are aware of the early signs of Type 1 diabetes and seek help if they need it.
“The NHS is open, and the health service is still there for you. The quicker children are diagnosed the less likely they are to become seriously ill. If you spot the signs, please call 999.”
Information about the signs and symptoms of all types of diabetes can be found here: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/diabetes-symptoms.