The COVID-19 pandemic has had many unintended consequences on all segments of the population, but the ones surrounded by the most uncertainty is the effects on children. Some parts of the country didn’t have in-person learning for much or all of this past school year, while other kids went for the entire 2020-21 year.
There’s no telling if not learning in person or being isolated from others will have an impact in the long-term, but one hospital has noticed an alarming trend when it comes to kids and type 2 diabetes.
In an effort to alert parents and grandparents who may be caring for children over the summer, Troy Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has a look at this study and what caregivers can do about it.
Incidences of Diabetes Doubled
The statistics from Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, found that from March to December 2019, the onset rate of type 2 diabetes was .27%, and from the same period in 2020, it was .62%.
While this is a small sample, researchers have reason to believe that it’s a microcosm of what’s occurred around the country with children cooped in the house more and being less able to go out and play with friends at a park, community pool, indoor trampoline park, etc.
Also of concern, the children who were admitted in 2020 had more severe symptoms than the year prior—higher blood sugar levels and more severe dehydration.
Teenagers and Minorities Especially Concerning
Teenagers are more likely to suffer from a lack of social activity, as many in the report said they just ate and slept during the pandemic. It’s also believed that Black, Hispanic, and Asian children have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Factors parents and grandparents should be on the lookout for are increased fatigue, thirst, urination, and rapid, unexplained weight loss.
In order to reduce risk, anyone caring for children this year should have access to healthy meals and snacks, and offer the kids plenty of exercise.
To learn more about Troy Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing and all of the services they offer, visit http://troy-center.facilities.centershealthcare.org.