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More east London parents aware of diabetes symptoms in children

14:29 06 January 2014

The number of parents who know the four main symptoms of diabetes in children has gone up by more than 50 per cent, according to a new survey commissioned by Diabetes UK.

The survey of 925 parents across the country, carried out by Ipsos Mori, found that awareness of all four symptoms is now 14 per cent, compared to nine per cent a year ago. This follows Diabetes UK’s campaign to raise awareness of the 4 Ts of Type 1 diabetes symptoms – toilet, tired, thirsty and thinner.

The campaign was launched in November 2012 to reduce the high proportion of children with Type 1 diabetes who become seriously ill because they are not diagnosed quickly enough. It is thought that this happens in about a quarter of cases and is often because parents do not associate their child’s symptoms with Type 1 diabetes. But while Diabetes UK has welcomed the increase in awareness, it is concerned that most parents across east London still do not know the four symptoms. It is particularly important for parents in Newham which has the second highest diabetes prevalence in England.

Of the individual symptoms, the best known is tiredness, which 63 per cent of parents in the survey identified as a symptom. The least well-known was weight loss, which just 30 per cent were aware of. Awareness of excessive thirst was 61 per cent and awareness of the need to urinate was 42 per cent.

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