Only one in 10 parents know signs of Type 1 Diabetes in their kids. Find out what they areAlamy

Fewer than one in 10 parents can identify the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, according to new figures.

Just nine per cent of parents know that excessive thirst, extreme tiredness, frequent urinating and unexplained weight loss are all symptoms of the condition, according to a survey conducted on behalf of Diabetes UK.

The charity said that a lack of understanding about the condition is one of the reasons that a quarter of children with Type 1 diabetes are only diagnosed once they are seriously ill.

It has launched an awareness campaign to help parents spot the '4 Ts' which are symptoms of the condition:

• Toilet (frequent need to wee)

• Thirsty

• Tired

• Thinner.


Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "The symptoms of Type 1 diabetes are so obvious and pronounced that there is no reason why every child with the condition cannot be diagnosed straight away.

"But the stark reality is that a quarter of children with Type 1 diabetes become seriously unwell before being diagnosed and we need to bring this appalling situation to an end.

"I fear that unless there is a big increase in awareness of symptoms, we will continue to see hundreds of children a year become seriously ill completely needlessly.

"We need to get the message across that if you have a child or if you work with children, you need to make it your business to know the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes.

"We hope the 4 Ts will make them easier to remember and so help ensure children with the condition get diagnosed at the right time."

Former X Factor contestant Amelia Lily, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was three years old, is backing the campaign.

She said: "I feel very strongly that every parent and carer needs to know about Diabetes UK's 4 Ts campaign. My symptoms included drinking a lot more than normal and going to the toilet a lot.

"I was very lucky as my nana realised what was wrong with me because my uncle had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 14.

"It's so important that anyone who looks after children - not just parents but teachers, carers and other family members - knows how to spot the signs of diabetes. So many children are still getting really poorly before they are diagnosed and I want to help put a stop to that."

Type 1 diabetes should not be confused with Type 2 or late onset diabetes, which can be caused by poor lifestyle choices.