November 14 is World Diabetes Day, a perfect time to help parents and their kids be more aware of what it is. These resources will help you talk to your kids about diabetes, and is a great start to equip your kids with knowledge about this prevalent health issue.
Diabetes is a chronic disease plaguing over 400 million people worldwide. A chronic disease is a condition that lasts 1 year or more which requires ongoing medical treatment/attention. It also limits your activities or livelihood – or both.
That is what diabetes is to those 400 million.
It occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot use the insulin that it is producing effectively.
So basically. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious damage to many of our body systems like the nerves and blood vessels.
Diabetes in my neck of the woods:
Unfortunately, obesity in the country where I live (Tonga), leaves a lot of the citizens prone to diabetes. It is ramped here.
A survey by PubMed has tracked the prevalence of diabetes, in Tonga for the last 40 years. This study standardized surveys to enable assessment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and obesity trends in Tongans aged 25 to 64 years over 1973-2012.
Over 1973-2012, T2DM prevalence increased from 5.2% to 19.0% (1.9%/5 years) and obesity prevalence from 56.0% to 70.2% (2.7%/5 years). The T2DM prevalence period projection to 2020 is 22.3%. We will see how that goes, but I am not surprised.
My kids watch my mother-in-law inject herself daily because of her diabetes. There probably isn’t a person who doesn’t know someone with diabetes if they don’t have it themselves.
Tonga is on the heavier end of the obesity statistics for the Pacific Islands with 69% of the adult population being obese (World Diabetes Foundation).
This goes to show that even when a country can grow its own food and raise its own meat, we still are prone to this damaging disease.
America and diabetes:
American isn’t too far behind my little country in percentage stats. In 2018, 34.2 million Americans (10.5% of the population) had diabetes. It is about the 7th leading cause of death in the United States (American Diabetes, Association, 2017).
Talking to your kids about diabetes is the first step in awareness. Inform them of the symptoms they and you should look out for like:
-unexplained weight loss
Explore these resources to help you talk to your kids about diabetes:
Books to Teach Children About Type 1 Diabetes | Something2Offer
Fostering Diabetes Awareness through Student STEM | Science Buddies
Diabetes made simple | Adventures in Child Life
FREE Download the Diabetes Facts & Worksheets | KidsKonnect
Endocrine System: Functions, Glands, Hormones, Diabetes / Distance Learning | The Rocket Resource
Understanding Type 1 Diabetes | CHCW.org
Teaching Kids About Diabetes Prevention | Dental Solutions Creating Smiles
Diabetes Overview for Teens and Youth | NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease
Activities with your kids to understand what diabetics should eat:
Diabetes Friendly Recipes for Kids | Diva Talk Radio
Diabetes Art Projects To Do With Your Child | T1EverydayMagic
Physical Activities and Diabetes | Diabetes.org.uk
Videos to show kids about diabetes:
What Is Diabetes | HealthNutsMedia
Get Well Soon | Dr Ranj
What is Type 1 Diabetes | Diabetes UK
Discuss with your children what diabetes is. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways at our fingertips to help prevent it.
Here are a few things we can to help prevent diabetes in our homes:
- Increase physical activity.
- Intake plenty of fiber.
- Eat whole-grain foods.
- Lose extra weight (body fat).
- Make healthier eating choices.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!