A family whose five-year-old daughter has Type 1 diabetes has backed a campaign to ensure all children with the condition get the basic care, checks and help they should receive.
The charity Diabetes UK says that young people with diabetes are dying because they are not getting the healthcare they need.
It says that the lack of good quality healthcare is reflected in the fact that young women with Type 1 are nine times more likely to die than their peers, and young men with the same condition four times as likely to do so.
The figures also show that 85 per cent of children with the condition have poor blood glucose control, putting them at risk of devastating health complications later in life.
Julian Collins lives in Peasedown St John with his wife Annabel and three daughters.
He said: "Emma was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just before her second birthday in March 2009.
"We had to quickly learn how to take blood glucose tests and give insulin injections. This was very traumatic as Emma was only two and did not understand why we needed to stick a needle in her and we also had to find the strength and courage to be able to do it. The five days we spent in hospital with Emma were very overwhelming, as we tried to learn so much new information.
"Emma and her two older sisters have coped so well with the impact of diabetes on all our lives. Generally we have received good support from the health services and Emma's school.
"Emma now receives insulin through a pump, which has helped stabilise her blood glucose levels."
The family are part of the Diabetes UK Children with Diabetes Mendip Support Group and say they have found it comforting to know that they are not alone and can talk to other parents in the same situation, learning new techniques and valuing the support they are given.
Mr Collins said: "We strongly believe that all children with Type 1 diabetes should have access to the best care and support."
The charity's Type 1 essentials for children and young people can be found at www. diabetes.org.uk/type-1essentials.