Childhood diabetes on the rise

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 10:45 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The number of kids being diagnosed with diabetes is increasing in the Sioux Falls area, according to Sanford Health.

When a kid is diagnosed with diabetes both the child and parents have a lot to learn when it comes to managing the disease through diet and medication. But technology has made it a little easier.

“There definitely have been advances in technology, we have pumps with continuous sensors that communicate with them so parents can be alerted if they are too high or too low,” said Jody Delfs, Sanford Health RN Diabetes Educator.

It can be hard to see the signs if your child does have diabetes, but there are a few things parents can look for.

“If they’re having increased thirst, increased urination, their feeling really fatigued, if they’re losing weight, but having a lot of hunger, they should probably take them into their primary care provider and have them take a look at them,” said Delfs.

Keegan DeYoung found out he was diabetic last month and thought his world was going to change.

“The biggest concern was sports for me because I want to stay physically active,” said Keegan.

For Keegan’s mom, the focus was just making sure he was okay.

“I didn’t really process it until later, I was just trying to help him process. Here’s what they are going to do, things are going to change but every step of the way they are going to help us,” Michelle DeYoung.

Keegan had been losing a lot of weight, was tired more often, and his parents knew something was wrong, but after a month of watching this blood sugar, he has been able to gain back some of the lost weight.

“He’s a super happy kid normally and he was being so crabby, now I have my kid back, he up talking to me at 10 a.m. being a goofball,” said Michelle.

Keegan has been able to go out with friends, eat and play sports, and if he keeps track of his blood sugar levels and takes care of himself, he looks forward to continuing to play basketball and football in high school.

“I was shocked because I thought my diet would have to change and I wouldn’t be able to do the things that I like, but that’s not how it is,” said Keegan.”

The DeYoung’s say if your child is showing any signs that something is wrong, trust your instincts and check-in with your doctor, and know that if your child does have diabetes, it might be scary, but there is plenty of help out there.

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