Type 2 Diabetes in Children
Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in Children
The same steps used to treat type 2 diabetes in children can also prevent it. Reduce fats and sweets in your child's diet. Make sure your child gets physical activity each day. In fact, studies show that exercise has a dramatic effect on reducing insulin resistance. These two strategies can help your child achieve or maintain a normal weight and normal blood sugar levels.
Special Concerns With Type 2 Diabetes in Children
Children -- especially teens -- may have a tough time making changes to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes. You can help by following some of these suggestions:
- Talk with your child honestly but supportively about health and weight. Encourage your child to speak up about his or her concerns.
- Do not separate out your child for special treatment. Your entire family can benefit from making changes in diet and activity.
- Make changes gradually. Just as it took time for diabetes to develop, it will take time to achieve better health.
- Increase activities your child enjoys, while at the same time reducing the amount of time your family spends watching TV or playing video games.
- If your child refuses to follow his or her plan, try to find out why. Teens, for example, are dealing with hormone changes, demands on their time, peer pressure, and other factors that seem more important to them than taking care of diabetes.
- Set small, step-wise goals. Plan special rewards for your child when he or she meets each goal. Then move on to the next.
- Talk to a diabetes educator, doctor, dietitian, or other diabetes professional for more ideas on how to help your child become healthier.
By working together, you, your child and the diabetes health care team can be sure your child remains healthy for years to come.