From Littleton, Colorado, USA:
My son is concerned about wearing an insulin pump while skateboarding or snowboarding. He tells me it feels like it's constraining him from doing the normal things he could do while he was on injections and he's afraid of breaking the pump. Another question he asked was, "Will the pump infusion site stay put when I sweat from two and a half hours of skateboarding?" I'm unsure because we are new to pumps. Another factor is about where he will keep the pump while skateboarding. This is an issue because he is dropping to the ground from places as high seven stairs, so he's worried about the pump falling out of his pocket or wherever he tries to keep it while skateboarding.
Kids, teens, and adults find that the flexibility and precise control of insulin delivery that pumping allows make it a great choice for an active lifestyle with diabetes. There are many examples online of people of all ages who are pumping and participating in extreme sports such as snowboarding, skateboarding, rock climbing, mountaineering; the potentials are endless. Pumps are quite durable. You should speak to your pump representative or manufacturer about your specific concerns to receive information relative to your son's pump.
There are many options for placement of the pump and infusion set during activities, including accessories such as sport packs which add an additional layer of protection. Your son would be wise to carry an extra infusion set, along with his blood glucose meter and source of rapid carbohydrate, for replacement should the set become dislodged as a result of activity. Most pumpers do not have difficulty with infusion sets and sweating, but your pump trainer and/or CDE should have suggestions for him to try in the event that he does.
You might also wish to discuss with your son's healthcare team, the use of Dr. Steve Edelman's Un-tethered Regimen in which you give a small percentage of Lantus basal insulin daily to prevent elevations in blood sugar when disconnecting for activity. This would allow your son the option of disconnecting during his sport participation. The bottom line is that the options for management are endless. Talk to your son's diabetes care team about which might work best for you both.
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