Belfast Telegraph

Bullying of diabetic children ‘must stop’

North Down MLA, Alex Easton, has thrown his weight behind Diabetes UK’s Campaign to call for increased support for children and young people with diabetes.

According to the leading health charity, some children and young people are experiencing bullying and discrimination as a result of their diabetes so they have developed the Children’s Charter to campaign for better care and support.

The Charter calls for people to respect, involve, understand, support and improve care for children and young people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland. It also calls for an end to discrimination that has seen children and young people unable to take part in school trips or extra curricular activities.

Diabetes UK Northern Ireland is hoping to gather thousands of signatures on the Children’s Charter petition and is encouraging everyone to sign up on www.diabetes.org.uk/childrenscharter.

Iain Foster, Director of Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, said: “It is totally and utterly unacceptable in today’s world that some children are battling with misunderstanding and emotional upset as well as, and as a result of, their diabetes.

“The emotional impact of diabetes on children’s wellbeing is a very serious issue and it can influence how well they manage their diabetes. Without proper management, diabetes can lead to serious health complications in the future, such as blindness, heart disease, stroke and amputation.

“It is only by making people aware of the hurt that can be caused that we can ensure these children are given the support and care they deserve. I would like to thank Alex Easton MLA for his support and would urge parents, teachers, healthcare professionals, community and youth leaders and our other local politicians to sign this petition if they haven’t done so already and make our children and young people a priority.”

According to the Northern Ireland Childhood Diabetes Register there are approximately 1000 children under the age of 16 with Type 1 diabetes in Northern Ireland.

The Children’s Charter petition was developed as part of a report which was developed by gathering views from children, families and healthcare professionals about the care and emotional support that children need. It sets out ten policy statements representing what Diabetes UK Northern Ireland believes must happen to ensure high quality care.

Diabetes kills more people in the UK than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

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