What are the Signs of Diabetes in Toddlers?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 August 2019
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Since toddlers often have difficulty explaining exactly how they are feeling, it can be difficult to determine the difference between a healthy toddler and one who needs testing for diabetes. Still, there are some signs that indicate evaluation is in order. Among them are increased thirst and urination, increased hunger accompanied by weight loss, dry mouth, and fruity-smelling breath. Fatigue, weakness, and treatment-resistant diaper rashes may be cause for concern as well.

One of the signs that a toddler may have diabetes involves his urinary habits. A toddler with diabetes often urinates much more frequently than other toddlers do. Some parents may note that the increased urination seems to go hand in hand with the toddler’s increase in thirst. Unfortunately, increased thirst is a sign of diabetes in toddlers as well.

Toddlers are notorious for their appetite changes. Some may be very picky about what they eat for a time and then appear to have unexplainable appetite surges. For the most part, toddler appetite changes are considered normal. Sometimes, however, they may be a warning sign of diabetes. For example, if a toddler seems to experience an increase in appetite yet loses weight, this may be a sign that he has diabetes.


Some of the signs that may indicate diabetes in toddlers involve the mouth and the throat. For example, a toddler with diabetes may experience dry mouth and throat symptoms. He may have fruity-smelling breath as well.

Fatigue is also among the signs of diabetes in toddlers. A toddler who has diabetes may seem overly tired or even weak at times when he should be energetic. He may also seem drowsy at times when he should be fully awake.

Toddlers who have yet to be potty trained may have symptoms of diabetes that show up in the diaper area. For example, a toddler with this condition may have diaper rashes, which can develop in healthy children as well. When a toddler with diabetes has a diaper rash, however, it may not go away, even after medicated diaper rash ointment is used.

Many signs of diabetes in toddlers are minor, and parents may mistakenly pass them off as other issues. When diabetes goes undiagnosed and untreated, however, other symptoms may occur. For example, some toddlers may experience stomachaches and severe episodes of nausea and vomiting. Untreated cases may also be marked by rapid breathing that is heavier than normal.


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