Keeping the pump dry when swimming

For many pumpers this isn’t an issue, but for many minimed users I know it can be. I have had a problem with damaging my pump after it was exposed to water while swimming so I have tried a number of things to keep the pump dry. I have tried the Minimed Sport Guard (pictured in the attached file), but I find it to be too big. Also, I am not able to press buttons while using it. Outside of that, it works great and the belt that it comes with secures tightly around my waist…nice bonus.

While searching on the internet (, I found a waterproof case for a “radio microphone”. This case has the ability to allow a radio wire to leave the case and still maintain a water tight seal. I place the tubing from my pump where this radio wire would otherwise be and my pump remains completely dry. This case is soft so I am also able to press buttons on my pump while using it. To me, this is key as I like to camp along a river each summer and often find that I am in the water for hours on end. My pump gives me BG reminders, low battery reminders, etc during these times and being able to turn those off without having to leave the water is great. You can see the aquapac in the attached picture below. This can either be attached to a belt or placed around your neck.

What have others found to keep their pumps dry in water?
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Is there a reason you need to wear the pump while swimming? In the 7 years I’ve been a pumper, I have not once worn the pump while swimming (well, except for an ill-fated creek hike when I was 17 than involved having my pump sitting in a sandwich bag then eventually filled up with a half cup of water).

Unless you are a professional swimmer, take it off. You can go about an hour without wearing an insulin pump, just reconnect to do a make-up bolus and test to make sure you aren’t trending upwards. Hope that helps!

i take a bolus = to my basal for the first hour - unhook and swim. Then hourly take additional bolus via pump or a quick injection - (sometimes the shot is easier depending on your suit and site placement)

I jumped in with my Animas waterproof pump last July 4th - and a seal was not sealed and guess what—it was NOT water proof - lcd went dead—then started blinking - animas said,’ oh yeah we have been having trouble with that seal’ - (WHAT?) we will send one out as soon as possible, but with it being a holiday - it took 3 days - they nonchalantly suggested i take shots until i got my replacement pump.

Shots? Did she say shots? i havent taken shots to control my diabetes since 1990 -and you could hardly call it controlled back then - i had no idea what to do. i have 10 differnt basal settings, lantus couldnt take care of that-. Thankfully a friend had a backup. Since then…i refuse to take a chance - the pump comes off.

When I camp, I am in the water for about 5 hrs straight at times. We spend a great deal of time floating down the river on a tube…far from our tents…when we return to the campground we often remain in the water jumping from rocks or tossing a ball around. So, I am not getting insulin for quite a long time if I were to remove my pump. If I am swimming in a pool I certainly do remove my pump.

Ah. I see. Well that makes sense. Well I think your aquapac thing makes total sense then. I’m glad you found it! I rarely am in the water for long periods of time, and when I’m in a boat (a real boat), I just clip the pump to my bathing suit until I hop in again.

Which of the cases did you get? I work at a pool so something like this would be great!!

That just happened to me yesterday. Dunked my “waterproof” Cozmo under tap water by accident for the first time since getting it … turned out it somehow wasn’t waterproof and it died on me. I was sent a new one yesterday within an hour of calling Smiths Medical, but the courier company LOST IT (???) and so I’m heading into my third day now with no pump. I was doing small injections of Humalog for the first little while but took Lantus earlier today. I’ve only been pumping five months so it wasn’t too big a deal to switch back, but I want my pump!!! They claim it will be here tomorrow (if the courier doesn’t lose it again!!!). I am debating just treating it like a non-waterproof pump from now on.

In my opinion, the choice would really depend upon whether you will need to press buttons on the pump while using the case. The medtronic case is hard so no buttons can be pressed, although you can always remove the pump. Also, it is made to the meaurements of a minimed pump, but I would venture to guess that it would fit others. I like the aquapac one much better. It is much better for me since I prefer to press buttons on the pump while wearing it in the waterproof pouch. Since this item is technically made for a radio device with a wire coming from it (used in making movies, from what I can tell from the website), it is not cut to fit the pump perfectly. I solve this problem by folding it in half. I also have rigged up a nylon belt to help attach it to me. The aquapac comes with a nylon string which can hang the pouch right around you neck. So that is always an option. I like it around my waist so I used the nylon belt which came with my medtronic hard case. It looks like aquapac sells a selection of belts/accessories at the website to help you customize this. My preference is definitely the aquapac even though it wasn’t “made” for a pump. It’s a very reliable company for producing waterproof cases. I’d be interested to learn if you get one and how you like it. I got the one described as a “radio microphone case”. The key is that it is made to allow a wire to pass through without disturbing the waterproof ability. Here is a link to the item. From the first page, click on “commercial and industrial” in the left margin. Then, it is the second item from the top.

Good luck!

Thanks for this information as we have been looking for a waterproof case for our sons Coz pump.
What have you done about keeping the infusion set attached to yourself while in the water that long? We have in the past just disconnected him for no longer that 45 min. at a time at the pool but he is spending more and more time in the water. As a 7 year old he is also a typical sweaty boy that once that tape gets wet or the outer skin cover we use gets soaked and wet it tends to peel. Any advice to what others are using to keep that infusion set stuck to skin while under water would be great.
I think we will definitely by the aquapac case, because it is the best we have seen that allows the tube to come out and still stay water tight. My cell phone and GPS case does not allow anything to come out of the case and still stay water tight, so this is a great find.

Thanks for this information! The site appears to have several sizes of cases that allow wires to come out, and I am seriously considering buying one. In my browsing, I found that there is actually a note on the site regarding their cases and insulin pumps: Use of Aquapac cases with Insulin Pumps.

Hi! My dr. says I can unhook my insulin pump for a hour so I can going swimming… But first, I have to check my blood sugar. When I’m done I just hook the pump back up again and check my blood sugar… I don’t swim that good… It works for me…

I have used the Smith + Nephew IV 3000 tape to keep the set attached to my skin. I have been told that typically this is used to go on the skin first and then insert the needle through it. I understand that its used for those with sensitive skin. However, I have found that when I swim, I place this clear tape (approx. 2.5" x 2.5") completely over my infusion set. I cut a small hole for the tubing. To do this, I fold it like when we made snowflake designs with paper as kids. For me, this prevents the white tape from peeling off my skin. This used in conjuntion with the aquapac has allowed me to spend entire days (5-8 hrs) in a cold New England river without trouble.

My sister is taking me to a spa that has a variety of hot tubs and pools, so we are most likely going to spend the day in water. Has anyone had problems with their pumps as far as heat goes? Also, what is the best way to deal with this? I got my pump last September, and I haven’t had to deal with the potential of spending the day in water. I looked into the aqua pac that you suggested and it seems that they have discontinued that model. Does anyone else have suggestions? Kind of freaking out a little…