What Are The Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes in Children?

It’s important to understand what the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes are, particularly in Children. As this is a condition that can affect anyone of any age, though it’s most commonly diagnosed in childhood. It’s an autoimmune condition that is NOT connected to diet or lifestyle. More prevalent than Meningitis and yet many parents still are not aware of the symptoms and what to look out for in Children.

Type 1 is just one of many different types of Diabetes though it is the type that the vast majority of children have. It is still very rare for children to have Type 2 Diabetes here in the UK.

Why is it so important to be aware of the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes? The answer is simple, as symptoms progress children with Type 1 Diabetes will enter DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) which is life threatening, as the blood becomes more acidic the body’s organs begin to fail. Some lose this battle all together. Unfortunately approx 25% of children in the UK are not diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes until the onset of DKA. This is unacceptable and can be helped if more people were aware of the Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes in Children.


The initial symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes can be rather subtle, and your child may not seem unwell, the most common symptoms include:-


Increased thirst is often the most obvious symptom. Children may even wake in the night looking for more fluids, as well as drinking large drinks during the day and often still wanting more.


It doesn’t take very long after symptoms present for children to experience noticeable weight loss. This can become very rapid as they approach DKA.


As children take on board more fluids due to the insatiable thirst they may start urinating more often. Though this is not always noticeable. Babies may have fuller nappies sooner, and children may even start to wet the bed when they were previously dry overnight.


The fatigue and the tiredness can present differently, the fatigue can just present as a child being generally lethargic, with low energy levels. The tiredness can be seen if they fall asleep early in the evening or even begin needing a nap during the day when they’ve out grown this.


As the onset of Type 1 Diabetes progresses as I mentioned above if the child is not diagnosed quickly enough they may enter DKA. DKA can be fatal and presents with more urgent symptoms than the earlier stages of Type 1 Diabetes.

Feeling Sick

Shortness of Breath

Fruity Smell on Their Breath (many compare this to the smell of pear drops or nail varnish remover)

Tummy ache


Rapid Heart Rate

Rapid Breathing


Loss of Consciousness


If you suspect your child has Type 1 Diabetes it is important you seek medical attention urgently. The onset of DKA can be very fast. We recommend that you specifically request your child to be tested for Diabetes, as the symptoms are so subtle this condition is often overlooked by medical professionals. If you suspect your child may be in DKA it’s vital that you go to your local Accident and Emergency Centre immediately.

A simple finger prick test is often enough to diagnose Type 1 Diabetes, though further tests may be required.

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of what the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes are particularly in Children. Raise awareness of this life threatening condition to prevent more children being diagnosed in DKA by sharing this article with your friends and family either via email, or on social media.



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