In January, Portia Linebaugh, nurse at Sweetwater Intermediate School (SIS), Linda Kite at the Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department (SNCHD) and Alice Velez with the Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital Diabetes Outreach Program conducted their annual diabetes screening/survey at the 4th grade level. There are approximately 200 4th grade students at SIS and 110 students participated in the screening.

Results from screening were: sixteen students without any risk factors; twenty-nine students with one risk factor, twelve of those were family history; six were race; nine were weight; forty-one students with two risk factors; and twenty-five students with all three risk factors. All parents of the children screened received a letter in the mail with their child’s results.

The following are factors that increase your child’s risk of developing diabetes: if the child is overweight the chances are higher; family history of diabetes; ethnicity as in Native Americans, African, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics are at higher risk.

This is the fourth year to conduct the screening and the numbers show an increase in the number of children that are at risk of developing diabetes.

An education program has been scheduled for Thurs., Feb. 24 at 3:30 p.m. in the library at SIS. The parents and children with two and three risk factors are strongly encouraged to attend, but is open to any parent and child that attends SIS that may have questions or concern about diabetes. Linda Kite will be talking about the screening and the overall survey. Alice Velez will be talking about diabetes in general, especially in children. Brenda Hollis, dietitian at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital will be giving tips on healthier eating habits.