The Know Type 1 campaign, which coincides with this week’s Diabetes Week, is encouraging parents to take their child to their GP if they spot any of the four ‘T’ symptoms of type 1 diabetes – toilet (going to the toilet more frequently), thirsty, tired and thinner.
Around one in five children with type 1 diabetes in Wales are not diagnosed until they are in diabetic ketoacidosis and require urgent medical attention, Diabetes UK Cymru said. The condition affects around 1,400 children and young people in the country and around 18,600 adults.
Dai Williams, director of Diabetes UK Cymru said: ‘Raising awareness of the symptoms and how simple it is to test for suspected cases of type 1 diabetes is crucial work that will help more families get a quick diagnosis and will enable children with type 1 to have access to life-saving treatment.
‘We’re urging people to be more vocal about the symptoms of type 1 diabetes. We want everyone in Wales to be aware of the symptoms – toilet, thirsty, tired, thinner – and go to their doctor immediately if they spot any of them.’
The campaign is being supported by Beth and Stuart Baldwin, whose 13-year-old son Peter died in 2015 as a result of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes.
‘Parents generally know what the symptoms of many other life threatening conditions are,’ said Mrs Baldwin. ‘When it comes to conditions like meningitis, people know to look out for spots on the skin and they know to put a glass on the spots. But does every parent know what to look out for with type 1 diabetes? They don’t – and it’s vital that they do.
‘With the Know Type 1 campaign we want to open people’s eyes to type 1 and its symptoms, because that really can save lives.’