Type 2 Diabetes: Screening for Children

Type 2 Diabetes: Screening for Children

Topic Overview

Diabetes Canada 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, 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. Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee, et al. (2018). Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 42(Suppl 1): S247–S254. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2017.10.037. Accessed October 15, 2018.

Other Works Consulted

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


Current as of: July 28, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Stephen LaFranchi MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
Matthew I. Kim MD - Endocrinology
David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology