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Woman teaching child with Type-1 Diabetes how to perform a blood glucose test.
Woman teaching child with Type-1 Diabetes how to perform a blood glucose test.
A caregiver and their patient going over management options.
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When your child has Type 1 diabetes, life probably looks different than you imagined. Glucose tests. Insulin shots. Carb counting. And even a bit of worry.

At times, doing this every day probably seems like a lot for both of you. But you don’t have to manage your child’s Type 1 diabetes alone.

At Cleveland Clinic Children's, we believe the best Type 1 diabetes treatment includes exceptional medical care paired with compassionate support. We’ll work with your family to personalize your child’s treatment plan and walk you through each step of diabetes management. We want your child — and you — to understand what it takes to keep them healthy and thriving, at every stage and age.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic Children's for Type 1 Diabetes Care?

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Caring approach:

Your child’s social, emotional and mental health is as important as their physical health. We’ll connect you and your child with our experienced social workers, psychologists, counselors and child life specialists if we think that talking with these compassionate providers could help. Meet our team.

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Comprehensive treatment:

Your child deserves the best diabetes care throughout their life. Our pediatric providers will help them gradually shift to our adult diabetes team when it’s time.

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National recognition:

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic Children's a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named Cleveland Clinic a top hospital in the world.

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Innovation and research:

As a leading academic medical institution, we’re on the front lines of the latest Type 1 diabetes research and breakthroughs. If eligible, your child may have access to leading-edge resources and therapies before they’re widely available.

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Virtual visits:

We make it easy for your child to get care. We offer virtual visits for some appointments, so you and your child can see their providers one-on-one from the comfort of home. All you need is an internet connection and a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis at Cleveland Clinic Children's

If your child has Type 1 diabetes, it means their pancreas can’t make insulin, and won’t for the rest of their life. This means too much sugar builds up in their blood, and their body can’t use the food they eat for energy. They’ll have to keep a close eye on their blood sugar and get insulin injections (shots) every day to stay healthy.

Symptoms often show up when kids are between ages 4 and 6 and can start slowly. They might be thirsty all the time and need to pee (urinate) a lot. They might always be hungry but lose weight for no reason. Or they might have blurry vision and always feel tired.

Meet our team

When you bring your child to Cleveland Clinic Children's for diagnosis and treatment, they’ll get care from a team with decades of experience that’s dedicated to treating Type 1 diabetes in babies, children and teens. Depending on your child’s needs, this team could include:

Your child’s first visit

In many cases, we see children after their primary care provider (pediatrician or family medicine doctor) has diagnosed diabetes through a blood glucose test and glycated hemoglobin test (A1C) — common ways to pinpoint Type 1 diabetes. This might be the case with your child.

But if they haven’t had these tests, we’ll do them on their first visit with us. We’ll also do a physical exam to check their overall health. We’ll ask them (and you) about their symptoms and how they’re feeling. If you have family members with Type 1 diabetes or other health conditions, we’ll also want to learn more about that.

Other tests

Your child’s provider might also do more blood tests to confirm their diagnosis. An antibody test will look for something called autoantibodies in their blood — which can be a sign of Type 1 diabetes. Autoantibodies can attack body tissues by mistake and cause damage.

They might also do a test called a basic metabolic panel (BMP) that provides helpful information about how your child’s body works (metabolism) and its chemical balance. And a urinalysis (urine test) checks your child’s pee for something called ketones, which your body releases when it breaks down fat for energy instead of using glucose (ketosis).


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Type 1 Diabetes Treatment at Cleveland Clinic Children's

No two children are the same, so we’ll customize your child’s care plan to match their needs and lifestyle. And we’ll use their test results to guide us in doing this. Our goal is to support their physical and mental well-being and avoid complications or health issues from their Type 1 diabetes.

Regular medical checkups

Our endocrinologists, nurse practitioners and other providers will regularly see you and your child for health checks. During these appointments, we’ll go over diabetes management, talk about challenges you’re having and take a look at how your child’s care plan is working for them. We’ll also check your child for possible health complications and do more tests, if needed.

Insulin therapy and glucose monitoring

Everyone with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin and check their blood sugar (glucose) several times each day. We may prescribe one or all of these tools to help with this:

These special tools deliver insulin to your child’s body and constantly checks their blood sugar — without injections or finger pokes.

If you prefer, our providers may instead prescribe insulin injections using an insulin pen or syringes. We’ll go over what we feel is the best method for your child based on their health needs, age and preferences.

Dedicated diabetes education

Our certified diabetes educators will help you and your child learn the skills and strategies to manage Type 1 diabetes. You’ll get hands-on education tailored to your learning style and your child’s medical needs.

We’ll teach you what to expect and how to use your child’s insulin delivery and blood glucose monitoring devices. Our educators will explain food choices and how to count carbohydrates. They’ll also share everyday tips for healthy living.

Ongoing support and follow-up

Your child’s care doesn’t end after their appointment. We’ll provide you with a patient care coordinator to contact whenever you have questions or concerns. We can also share helpful resources and put you in touch with support groups in your community.

As your child grows, we’ll regularly review their care plan to make sure it’s keeping your child as healthy as possible. We listen to your concerns, answer your questions and keep your child on the path to wellness — every step of the way.

Taking the Next Step

Caring for a child with Type 1 diabetes takes extra time and effort — but you don’t have to do it alone. Our team partners with you to keep your child healthy and active by managing their diabetes. We’re here to get you and your child on a solid path to success, so they can stay healthy, do kid things and enjoy growing up.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Type 1 diabetes experts is easy. We’ll help your child get care.


Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Type 1 diabetes experts is easy. We’ll help your child get care.

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