Garden City Diabetes cases have been rising among Garden City students, according to area health officials.
Polly Witt, health services coordinator for Garden City schools, told The Garden City Telegram that there are four times as many office visits among students for diabetes as there were three years ago.
Witt said there were 3,389 diabetes-related visits to the district’s nurses or their associates in the 2010-11 school year. That compares with 1,993 in 2009-10 and 823 in 2008-09. There are more than 7,000 students in the district.
She said most of the cases were of Type 2 diabetes, which she said in the past was more common among adults.
“What we’re seeing in our kids is reflected in our adults,” Witt said. “We eat more and work less. Fruits and vegetables are important. Lifestyles have changed for the worse. Once we might have had an eight-ounce Coke. Now it’s a two-liter bottle.
“Getting all the sugary things out of the house would not hurt. Adding fresh fruit would help. That is what I believe,” she said.
Tammy Bailes, nurse practitioner for the Finney County Health Department, said her office also sees a lot of childhood obesity, which she said may be contributing to the increase in cases of diabetes.
“We do see quite a bit of childhood obesity, which may lead to Type 2 diabetes,” Bailes said. “The Garden City Recreation Commission has special programs for kids to encourage physical activity and good eating habits.”
Witt said the students being seen in Garden City schools are receiving insulin injections.
“If it is a kindergartner, we do teach them how to calculate their blood sugar and other management techniques,” she said.