Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes in Infants and Toddlers

Type 1 diabetes is a serious autoimmune disease in which the pancreas stops producing insulin, which is essential to getting energy from food. It strikes suddenly and has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. Unfortunately, symptoms of type 1 diabetes in infants and toddlers may not always be easy to pinpoint. That’s because it’s very hard—particularly in the case of infants—for young children to let their parents know that something isn’t right.

What to look for: Symptoms of type 1 diabetes in babies and toddlers

You may or may not be aware that increased thirst and frequent urination are common symptoms of type 1 diabetes in toddlers and other young children. The reason this happens is rising blood-sugar levels trigger a reaction in the body that pulls fluid from tissues. This will leave your son or daughter constantly—and understandably—thirsty, which leads to increased urination. If your toddler is potty-trained you may also notice that they revert back or have bed-wetting issues.

But what else should you watch out for? Below are some other potential signs of type 1 diabetes in infants and toddlers:

This could be a sign that your child’s body isn’t able to turn the sugar in the bloodstream into energy.

Intense hunger and unexplained weight loss
If your child’s muscles and organs aren’t receiving enough energy, it can trigger extreme hunger. Sudden weight loss—especially if he or she is eating more—could also be a major warning sign.

Changes in vision
High blood-glucose levels could lead to blurred vision or other eyesight issues. Unfortunately at a very young age, your son or daughter may not yet be able to articulate this.

Yeast infection
This type of infection can be one of the signs of diabetes in babies, but it may present itself as a diaper rash caused by excessive yeast.

Fruity smelling breath or sugar in urine
This is a sign that your kid’s body is attempting to excrete sugar that it can’t get into its cells.

Unusual behavior
If your son or daughter suddenly becomes irritable, restless, or moody it may be cause for concern, particularly if this coincides with other symptoms.

If you have any reason to believe that you’re seeing signs of type 1 diabetes in your infant or toddler, it’s important to see a doctor immediately. Rather than second-guessing your worries, remind yourself that it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your child’s health.