Type 2 Diabetes: Screening for Children

Topic Overview

Diabetes Canada (formerly 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, 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. 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.

Other Works Consulted

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


Current as ofJuly 25, 2018

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

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