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Type 2 Diabetes: Screening for Children

Topic Overview

Starting at age 10 or at the beginning of puberty, a child who has a body mass index (BMI) in the 85th percentile or higher for his or her age-or whose weight is more than 120% of ideal-and who has one of the following risk factors needs to be tested for type 2 diabetes every 3 years:footnote 1

  • A parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • The child's mother developed gestational diabetes while pregnant with the child
  • Hispanic, African-American, Native American, Asian-American, or Pacific Island ancestry
  • Signs of not being able to use insulin properly (insulin resistance) or conditions associated with it:

If the results of a blood glucose test mean that your child's blood sugar is higher than normal but not yet at the level of diabetes, he or she has prediabetes. If your child eats a balanced diet and gets regular exercise, he or she may not develop diabetes.

For more information, see the Interactive Tool: What Is Your Child's BMI? and the topic Type 2 Diabetes in Children.



  1. American Diabetes Association (2018). Standards of medical care in diabetes-2018. Diabetes Care, 41(Suppl 1): S1-S159. Accessed December 8, 2017.

Other Works Consulted

  • American Diabetes Association (2000). Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. Diabetes Care, 23(3): 381-389.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerMatthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology
David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology

Current as ofJanuary 29, 2018

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