Children’s Diabetes Center

Comprehensive, Family-Centered Care for Children with Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most common long-term childhood diseases. And it has surged over the last 20 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in three American children born today will develop diabetes in their lifetimes.

The Center for Children’s Diabetes, Activity and Nutrition (CCDAN) at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital was created as a Center for Excellence through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our team is dedicated to preventing, diagnosing, treating and managing two major public health problems – childhood diabetes and childhood weight gain. Special attention is paid to primary and secondary prevention and to wellness.

The center is specially staffed with the experience to diagnose, treat and manage both type I diabetes (formerly known as juvenile diabetes) and type II.

Experience, Technology and Skill with a Team Approach

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital is one of the first children’s hospitals to develop a comprehensive approach to childhood diabetes and obesity. The team includes a wide range of experts who contribute specialized knowledge and experience.

For families and kids, a diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming. There are many questions:

  • What should we do?
  • What can my child eat?
  • Will my child need needles?
  • What will life be like from here on out?

Specially trained and qualified staff answer those questions and more. With up-to-the-minute knowledge and expertise, the team helps the family navigate uncharted waters – with a customized plan for treatment, nutrition and medication options, training, education and support.

And we help families sort and understand the myriad of choices diabetics face in technology, testing equipment, medication administration and more. From diet to prescriptions to glucose monitors and insulin pumps, the team knows the landscape and guides families towards the healthiest possible decisions.

  • Doctors: Our endocrinologists have all completed specialized training and are board-eligible and certified in pediatric endocrinology. The division’s fellowship program in pediatric endocrinology is the only accredited pediatric endocrinology fellowship in Northern Ohio.
  • Diabetes nurse educators: The nursing team has special training in diabetes care and management. Many have decades of experience working exclusively with diabetes in children and youth. Training and education are keys to successful diabetes management, both for children and families. Our educators practice techniques that work for kids of all ages.
  • Registered dietitians: Nutrition and food choices become critically important for optimal diabetes management. The dietary team helps kids and families understand how the body processes food, how different foods affect blood sugar and how to make the most healthy menu choices.
  • Exercise physiology and weight management specialists: There is a direct link between weight and type II diabetes. Part of our mission is both prevention of weight gain and helping overweight kids lose extra pounds while encouraging healthy lifestyle.
  • Psychologists: Learning that a child has a potentially life-long condition like diabetes can cause stress, anxiety and confusion. Emotional health is key to successfully managing diabetes. Our psychologists are equipped to counsel both children and families.
  • Researchers: We are committed to developing new knowledge through research that will advance children’s care. To that end, we have many active research programs and receive many grants and donations to further advance our findings.

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