It's the second-most common chronic disease among kids, after asthma — and medical experts say it's only becoming more prevalent. The American Diabetes Association reports that about one in every 400 to 600 kids and adolescents have type 1 diabetes — and a family history of the disease multiplies their risk up to 15 times. Two million adolescents — or one in six overweight teens — are on their way to developing full-blown type 2 diabetes, an upsurge linked to the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. Symptoms of each type do overlap to a degree, but are "appreciably different" overall, says dietician Hope Warshaw, author of Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy.
With both types of diabetes on the rise among kids of all ages — from toddlers to teens — it's essential to know and watch for warning signs in your child. Here diabetes experts and the iVillage community report the telltale symptoms that should put you on alert.