What is diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes, sometimes referred to as ‘juvenile’ or ‘insulin-dependent’ diabetes, occurs when the pancreas no longer produces insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes. Either condition can cause sugar to build up in your body to sometimes dangerous levels.

About the Paediatric Diabetes Program

Our Paediatric Diabetes Program is the longest running diabetes program in York Region, caring for children living with diabetes up to 18 years of age. If your child is treated at this clinic, they will have a team that includes a paediatric endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educators, a registered dietitian, and a social worker.

At first, a diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming and there is a lot to learn. Our diabetes educators and specialists have developed a Paediatric Diabetes Daycare Program for newly diagnosed children, to educate them about their disease over a span of three days. If your child needs this service, they will learn how to manage the condition, including medication and nutrition. Your child will then be followed every three months until age 18 through our clinic. We also provide support by phone if you have questions.

Care we provide for paediatric diabetes:

  • Outpatient Clinic – Members of our diabetes health care team give advice about issues such as changes in routines or insulin dosage, and identify any problems that may be interfering with the day-to-day management of your child’s condition. We will monitor your child’s growth and perform any necessary blood work every three months.
  • Paediatric Lifestyle Clinic – If your child has type 2 diabetes or other complications from obesity, this clinic can help them make more healthy lifestyle choices. Find out more about the Paediatric Lifestyle Clinic.
  • General paediatric nutrition services – You may access nutrition counselling services for your child, for concerns such as constipation, picky eating, slow/poor weight gain, Celiac disease, and other feeding issues. Your child will be seen by our registered paediatric dietitian and will have follow-up visits as needed.
  • Insulin Pump Program – The Government of Ontario supports children with type 1 diabetes through the Assistive Devices Program. If your child meets the eligibility criteria, they may be given a three-month pump trial, education, and follow up about insulin pumps.
  • Young Adult Transition Program – If your teenager has diabetes, they will eventually need to transition to adult diabetes care. We need to transition your child well so they can continue to manage their condition successfully over the long term. Our program begins at age 16 and involves an assessment, a resource guide, and a formal plan of care. Staff will help your child to choose an adult program, taking into consideration whether the new doctor should be close to home, close to school, or other factors.
  • Annual Diabetes Day – Watch out for our Annual Diabetes Day, where we present programs of interest and inspiration to families in the community who are coping with childhood diabetes.

We also offer other services such as peer support, continuous glucose monitoring, high-risk programs, and the opportunity to engage in research studies.