As many as one in four children and young people are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when they are in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – a life-threatening condition that requires urgent medical attention. For children under five years old, it’s as many as one in three. It’s a frightening time for everyone involved.

That’s why we've launched a campaign on World Diabetes Day to raise awareness of the four most common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes.

We believe that everyone who knows a child, of any age, should be aware of the 4 Ts of Type 1 diabetes, remember them and know what to do if they spot them.

What are the 4 Ts?Toilet
Going to the toilet a lot, bed wetting by a previously dry child or heavier nappies in babiesThirsty
Being really thirsty and not being able to quench the thirstTired
Feeling more tired than usualThinner
Losing weight or looking thinner than usual

By making sure children and young people get a quick diagnosis and early treatment, we can avoid them becoming seriously ill with DKA.

What to do if a child shows signs of the 4 Ts

If your child has any of these signs and symptoms, you should take them straight to the doctor and insist on a test for Type 1 diabetes there and then.

All it takes is a quick and simple finger-prick blood test, which your GP can carry out straight away. If the result indicates Type 1 diabetes, the GP should refer the child to a specialist paediatric diabetes team the same day so they get immediate treatment to bring their diabetes under control and to prevent DKA.