Screening for type 2 diabetes in children

Starting at age 10 or at the beginning of puberty, a child who has a body mass index (BMI) in the 85th percentile or higher for his or her age—or whose weight is more than 120% of ideal—and who has two of the following risk factors needs to be tested for type 2 diabetes every 3 years:1

If the results of a blood glucose test indicate that your child's blood sugar is higher than normal but not yet at the level of diabetes (prediabetes), the test should be repeated 3 months later to determine whether your child has developed diabetes.2 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 Diabetes Type 2 in Children.


  1. American Diabetes Association (2009). Standards of medical care in diabetes. Clinical Practice Recommendations 2009. Diabetes Care, 32(Suppl 1): S13–S61.
  2. Orr DP (2008). Diabetes mellitus. In LS Neinstein, ed., Adolescent Health Care: A Practical Guide, 5th ed., pp. 170–178. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Last Updated: August 28, 2009

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine

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