Type 2 Diabetes: Screening for Children

Topic Overview

The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends type 2 diabetes screening every 2 years for some children. Children who have not reached puberty and have 3 or more of the risk factors below should be screened. Children who have reached puberty and have 2 or more of the following risk factors: footnote 1

  • A body mass index (BMI) in the 95th percentile for his or her age and gender
  • A family history of type 2 diabetes
  • The child's mother had diabetes while pregnant with the child.
  • Hispanic, African, First Nations, Asian, or Pacific Island ancestry
  • Signs of not being able to use insulin properly (insulin resistance) or conditions linked with it:
  • Use of antipsychotic medicine or atypical neuroleptics

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 ( prediabetes ), your doctor will probably recommend the test be repeated later to find out whether your child has developed diabetes. 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. Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee (2013). Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents section of Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 37(Suppl 1): S163–S167. Also available online: http://guidelines.diabetes.ca.


ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics

Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer Stephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology

Current as ofJuly 15, 2014