CGM for a 4 year old

Hi everyone! I am new here and really happy to have found such a caring community. We are considering a CGM for our 4 year old son, diagnosed at 3. He is currently on MDI therapy, and A1C’s are satisfactory (last one was 7.0%), but we are concerned about undetected hypos. Is there anyone willing to share his/her experience with CGM on a child of his age? What model are you using? would you recommend one over another? Does your boy/girl tolerate it well? What about carrying it to school? The receivers look a bit bulky for a child his age, and I not sure he would be comfortable carrying it during play.

I have had similar results with the Minimed(tried at age 3yrs 10 months) as Aimee - I am waiting until we can switch to the Dexcom (oct I think for insurance reasons) - seems like there are quite a few little ones on the Dexcom…

The biggest thing for us was the Minimed hurting our child - even when she was sleeping and with the emla cream she would wake up screaming. Sounds like the Dexcom is a lot easier to tolerate. There are some kids on the Omnipod Users forum that use the dex.

Aimee, Celeste, thanks so much for your answers. The minimed sensor lasts a week like the Dexcom one, is this right? I had also the impression that the Dexcom is more suitable for a child. Apart from the problems with the sensor insertion, we were concerned about the fact the he should carry the sensor and receiver with him all the time. He’s on injections, and as his A1C’s are acceptable we are not planning to switch to a pump for the moment, so he’s more or less free from technological appendices :slight_smile: His endo is not really fond of the CGM, but in Italy they are not common at all, so that his (the endo’s) experience with CGM’s in kids is very limited. Before beginning the fight to have one from our public health care service (and it will be a tough fight!), or deciding to buy it with our money, we would like to be reasonably sure that it can make a difference in detecting hypos and it is a bearable burden (psychologically and physically) for our little one.

We started using the Dexcom CGM in March of this year. I wish we had known we were able to use it far sooner. It provides so much comfort in the day to day with diabetes- especially for a young child. My son was also 2 1/2, which makes it difficult to tell when he is high or low. The cgm provides a lot of insight on what the blood glucose is at all times and which direction it is going. It has prevented countless lows for us- which is by far the best reason to have it.

The Dexcom will give a reading every 5 minutes (though this is not always completely accurate- and it is 5-10 minutes behind the actual blood reading), and show “trend” arrows as to which way it is going, for example, I could take a blood glucose using his meter and it could show 100- however the CGM may show an arrow straight down which means I should monitor him closely or intervene with a quick sugar to prevent him from going low.

It can have its frustrating moments (sometimes a sensor cannot get an accurate reading and just displays ???.. it will usually clear up within 2 hours, but you get spoiled always knowing what his bgs are doing). Also, it usually takes a day or two for the sensor to get really accurate. But for all the information and comfort it provides, a few frustrating moments are totally worth it. I really think it would help all parents if they would send you home with one after diagnosis!

The Dexcom has two parts, the sensor/transmitter (which is worn on the body- my son wears his on his arms) and the receiver (my son wears his in a pouch/belt). The receiver must be kept 5’ from his sensor. At first I was hesitant of him having to wear the receiver on him at all times, but he never had a problem with it. The sensor insertion is pretty painless, my son never complains. I have heard other cgms can be painful but I have no first hand experience with anything other than the dexcom. I’m happy to provide any other information or answer any questions you may have-- I would highly recommend it though. I cant imagine life without it now.

Dear Taterbugs Momma, thanks very much for you answer. The more I read, the more I am convinced that the Dexcom could be the right choice for him. I understand from other discussions on the site than your son has been on CGM+MDI for a few months before switching to CGM+pump, is this so? We don’t really want to move to a pump (unless our son’s A1C’s really get worse), so he would be on CGM+MDI as well. May I ask what age was your son when you first used the Dexcom? Our boy is not much bothered by the injections and finger pricks, so we fear that having the sensor/receiver on him all the time could be a big switch for him.

Nate just turned three in May of this year. He was diagnosed at 2 1/2 (October 2010) and we started the Dexcom in March because I suspected he was having moderate rises and falls in his bg levels, causing him to not feel his lows (since the rise and falls were so similar and happening with each meal). The Dexcom showed us not only was he having bad fluctuations, he was falling faster than 5mgdl/minute- so if I took a reading that showed he was at 120- he could be low in just a matter of minutes and I would have no idea.
After seeing all of this, I decided to move to a pump- we could never get him regulated on MDIs. He was going low overnight despite moving the basal insulin to morning. We started pumping in late June and for us, it has really made a difference.
Wearing the sensor has never been a problem for us. The week before starting him on the Dexcom I put a belt with an old phone in it on him to “practice” wearing. I explained how this was going to help him feel better and not have to have his sugar checked as often, and made a big deal out of how good he was doing wearing it. Once I saw this didn’t phase him, I knew we were good to go. He wore the sensor on his bottom starting off, so it was easily forgotten. Toddlers are easily distracted so that helped a lot.

I personally have found the Dexcom to be the most useful tool in our day to day. I feel more comfortable when he has to stay with someone else, which was almost impossible before. I have been able to prevent countless lows, make changes to his daily regimen, and understand why he was so cranky! It is not perfect when it comes to the BG reading- it can be off up to 80mgdl and still be considered accurate- but the trend arrows always add comfort or provide the information needed to make decisions in the “gray areas” when you would just have to guess before.