From Eldersburg, Maryland, USA:
My daughter will be starting kindergarten in the fall. The school has experience with both pens and pumps. My endocrinologist has recommended we start the pump. Diagnosed almost 15 months ago, we have been doing the pens on our daughter and it has been working well for us. She is not on board with the pump, and while I understand that it is supposed to make things a lot easier, I am very leery about it. I would like to know the advantages of the pump verses pens. I also feel that when a child wears a pump they can't be active because the pump tubing can be ripped out of their skin.
Starting a pump is an individual and family decision, and as your daughter is five years old I would try to get an idea of what she is thinking, and what might be concerning her, about the pump. Then, you can make your decision. I would avoid battles about this topic, especially before she has a full understanding of what a pump is. Kids at this age may have amazing (to adults) fears and misconceptions. Has she met anyone who uses a pump? Are there any groups in your area or places where she could meet pumpers? Can your diabetes team help you with this process?
For your questions, again speak with your diabetes team.
There is also a wealth of information and resources available at this web site and elsewhere. You can read more at our page on Insulin Pump Therapy and including the section on pumps and school. Another great resource about Insulin Pumps is in Dr. Peter Chase's book Understanding Diabetes, 11th edition.
As far as your question about sports: pumps can be disconnected for short periods of time (with small boluses given to replace the basal, if needed). Pumpers learn how to protect their sites and tubing, or may use a "patch" pump that does not use long tubing.
Even if you decide now is not the best time to make this change, it may be an option for later after she and you get established in her new school routine or later down the road when you feel more comfortable. Pumps are great and many people wonder why they didn't start pumps sooner. Others do very well with pens or syringes. Learn what you can from all the available resources. Add up the pros and cons and see how things turn out. It is a personal decision, best made with knowledge and support.
Last Updated: Tuesday April 30, 2013 15:12:28
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