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April 22, 2003

Insulin Pumps

Question from Jerusalem, Israel:

A friend's 18 month old son wears his insulin pump in a backpack type carrier under his shirt. Some nurses at the well baby care center have expressed concern that since he sleeps on his back that the pump being there could affect the way his spine grows. Do you have any thoughts on this matter?


Your friend has no need to worry. I consulted with a friend who is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon who agreed with me that sleeping with the insulin pump that way should not influence his spine growth. Scoliosis is very rarely caused by external pressures.

If she is really concerned, she might be able to have him sleep on his side propped up with a pillow part-way. I would guess that sleeping on his back with the pump in the carrier might be uncomfortable anyway — so he may shift his position so it’s not putting direct pressure on his back on his own.