EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The CDC says studies have found that there is risk for newly diagnosed Diabetes in people under the age of 18 who have had COVID-19.

The El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH) says they have seen an increase in children being diagnosed with diabetes during the pandemic.

“The trends that we’re seeing at El Paso children are similar to what this study is showing. We’re seeing an increased onset of new diagnoses of diabetes after a COVID infection,” said Josephine Kenney the Clinical Coordinator for the Pediatric Diabetes Education Services at El Paso Children’s Hospital.

Kenney adds that those children who are admitted to the hospital with a new diagnosis of diabetes are more likely to have diabetic ketoacidosis.

She says if your child has had COVID-19 it’s important to know the symptoms associated with diabetes and look out for them.

“Symptoms of diabetes often mimic the common flu feeling tired sleeping more, losing weight in addition to those symptoms a child with diabetes will start going to the bathroom a lot, for some children that might include starting to wet the bed again when they were previously potty trained. Children in diapers can wake up with very soaked, heavy diapers,” said Kenney.

More advanced symptoms according to Kenney include nausea, vomiting, and changes in breath, and you might notice a sweet smell to their breath.

“This is the body’s way of trying to get rid of those extra acid levels of build-up in the system due to a lack of insulin,” said Kenney.

According to Kenney a child as young as 6 months can develop type one diabetes. Whereas type two is diagnosed at puberty or teenage years. However, she says 80 percent of the children who have diabetes in our area have type one.

El Pasoan Julian Barron has a 5-year-old daughter who currently has COVID-19. He says diabetes runs in his family and it is a concern for him.

“I’ll help her with everything, monitor all that get the help that she would need,” said Barron.

Another Borderland Resident Carlos Corral says he has two nephews aged 5 and 3 and both had COVID-19.

“I’m really hoping it’s not the case that the kids develop diabetes as they get older unfortunately there’s a lot we still don’t know about COVID-19 and of course, the after-effects that everyone is feeling is especially for kids,” said Corral.

Kenney with EPCH says getting your child vaccinated can potentially reduce your child’s risk of developing diabetes.

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