Pump Choice for Active 12 yr old - T-Slim or Omnipod

I’m looking for some specific feedback on choosing a pump for an active 12 yr old. We recently attended a pump class and the T-Slim and Omnipod were the choices recommended by the CDE. He is already on the Dexcom G6. He and I both really liked the Control IQ features of the T-Slim, the design of it in general, and its ability to sync with the Dexcom. I know that the new Omnipod, due out next year, will have these Control IQ type features.

He wore a dummy Omnipod for a few days and thought it was ok, but he definitely felt it was bulkier and got in the way more than the T-Slim. He saw the T-Slim and didn’t mind the tubing but he hasn’t worn it.

All things equal, I think we’d chose the T-Slim. However, what I’m most concerned about is that he’d have to remove it for sports and swimming and whether that would be difficult to manage. Right now, he’s playing basketball and it doesn’t seem like a big deal to remove it for an hour long game or practice. But in the spring, he’ll be playing baseball double-headers most Saturdays that could last 4-5 hrs. He’ll also be at the beach/lake for at least 3 weeks and he’s typically in the water most or all of the day. I’m having trouble figuring out how disruptive not having the pump on during these times would be. Do you have to play catch up? Switch to injections during these times?

Does anyone have an insight here? Or is this not a real concern? It’s not an all the time problem, but then again it’s not a rare occurrence either.

With the swimming, I can understand why he probably would need to remove the pump, but why would he need to remove the pump for other sports? If you’re afraid the basal would be too high, (when he played sports), you can make adjustments to the basal rate. If you’re afraid the T-Slim might fall off, remember that there is more than one option to hold the pump on. Most people probably use the clip to hold it on. My brother uses the small strap-on pouch, (that runners use), to hold his T-Slim. It’s designed to hold a runner’s keys, money, ID, etc, but it also works well to hold a T-Slim. What are your concerns?

I think you might be worrying a little too much. The t:slim X2 was my first pump and I know I did the same thing, too. There’s a lot of anxiety in the “what ifs”, that disappear completely after actually living with it for a while.

You should do a #tsliminthewild search on Twitter, Instagram, or even just Google (sort for images) if you’re not on the other social media platforms. You’ll see that TONS of people are living an active lifestyle with the t:slim, even playing sports.

Yes, you need to know it’s limitations, but they’re actually pretty minimal. It’s only water rated for 30 ft/30 minutes. It’s fine if you drop it in a puddle/sink/toilet/bath, but no… I wouldn’t let him go swimming in it. The general rule of thumb is that it’s fine b to remove it for an hour. Most people would bolus for the basal they will be missing, but if he’s going to be very active, he may not need that. Even if he’s disconnected for a longer time, maybe he just needs to reconnect briefly for any necessary corrections and disconnect again/carry on. I also wouldn’t recommend full contact sports, like football, while wearing the t: slim. I don’t remember how “grabby” basketball is allowed to be.

For the most part, though, both the pump and infusion sets are really durable. It actually can be difficult for me to remove the infusion sets some times because they’re stuck on so well. You just need a secure way of keeping the pump close to you. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t like the case/clip provided by Tandem.

The Spibelt is always a popular option: The SPIbelt

I know some have found small cellphone flip cases for a belt they like.

Personally, I choose to forego the Tandem case/clip altogether and attached this guy from Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B007CBSBM4?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title .

I think it’s a much better option, because the clip is tighter, and will attach firmly to anything without falling off, not to mention unrestricted access to the button. If you search the Amazon reviews on it for “pump”, you’ll see just how many other five star reviews there are from t: slim users. The key for activities is having it clipped to something tight, like undershirt, Lycra shorts, underwear, jock strap, etc… You want to keep it close to your body as possible. Sandwiched between layers of clothes is even better…

There are infusion sets with a bit of extra shock absorption built into them, like the TruSteel. I wouldn’t actually recommend that yet for your child, because steel infusion sets are usually reserved for those who are having trouble with the soft cannula sets… But you could similarly add that extra bit of protection with just a piece of medical tape over the tubing, a few inches from the set. I planned on doing that myself, but found it unnecessary.

One last thought, you might consider wrapping the infusion location with vet wrap (that weird spongy tape that only sticks to itself), to provide a smoother finish that can’t be grabbed, snagged, or otherwise knocked off when things get rough.

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Thanks for the info. I’m just trying to get as much info as I can before spending a lot of money on a pump he’ll have to use for several years.

I have seen many pictures of people running, hiking, and working out with the pump but not as many playing team sports. The T-Slim website says for contact sports, like baseball, hockey, or basketball, you may disconnect. I’m trying to get a sense to what people typically do. I have seen the flip belts and wasn’t sure if it was sufficient to protect it in a contact sport situation.

As for swimming, I’ve read a few online accounts that suspending for a length of time while swimming can be challenging to get levels correct.

I first got my first pump when I was a senior in high school. I wore it during my softball games and didn’t have any problems. I mainly wore it clipped to the waistband of my pants with the clip facing out and the pump on the inside of my pants, but would sometimes clip it to my sliding shorts’ waistband so that it was inside my pants. I’m right-handed and just made sure that it was near my right hip when batting so that it wouldn’t be hit by a wild pitch. I don’t know how strict umpires are about wearing them during a game these days; usually for me, saying it’s a medical device and that I can’t remove it worked fine. If this is a concern, I would just make sure to wear it beneath the uniform so that they can’t see the pump. Then it’s a nonissue.

My son (active 8 year old) wears his T-slim rock climbing, mountain biking, running, trampolining etc. He keeps the pump in its protective case with the original clip, but whenever he’s out and about he always carries it in a SPI belt with the screen facing inwards (to protect the glass screen).
Tandem reps say not to do that due to losing reception from CGM (and I know that some people have problems with CGM reception dropping out), however this hasn’t been an issue for us at all in 10 months of use (with Dexcom G5). Just this past weekend has been the first time the pump has ever lost signal while the pump is on him, with a transmitter that’s about to reach it’s 112-day limit. That was with the pump lying screen down on the tent floor (we were hiking), him lying on top of it, and his dexcom on his backside, so basically the absolute worst case scenario for bluetooth signal.

As Robyn_H said, wearing it tight/close to the body is key in having it not bounce around. He uses the Autosoft infusion sets because the steel sets would spike him if he leaned or bumped on them. He has only had issues with the tubing snagging and pulling out the infusion set a couple of times - once in his sleep when the pump came out of his pocket and he was rolling around a lot, and once last week at school when he hadn’t tucked it away and snagged it on something as he stood up from the floor (that time he snapped the tubing on the cartridge side of the connector as well as kinking the cannula of the infusion set). FWIW, although Omnipods don’t have the exposed tubing, there are enough reports out there of people accidentally ripping the whole pod off that I don’t think it’s any less risk. And simply changing an infusion set is a whole lot less waste than throwing out a pod.

@1234lucky Check out this inspiring mom of a T1D 4 year old boy. After being denied the latest pump by her insurance company, she took it upon herself to write a letter telling her family’s story to one of the top executives at Aetna. Within hours, she received a call informing her that not only was her son’s Omnipod DASH system approved, but all other Aetna patients were as well. As a way to give back, she has recently started doing video chats to help be an advocate for the T1D community. She does a chat every Wednesday from 10-11 EST and other times throughout the week.

I can’t attach links but please check her out online at Twitch TV and search for lifewithlinnie

You can also follow her and get notifications of when she will be doing live video chats on Twitter @LifewithLinnie

Feel free to share with anyone and everyone.

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” -Alice Morse Earle

Don’t forget to smile today!

Thanks so much for your response. I really appreciate it!

You are quite welcome. In her last video chat she goes over what she uses for her 4 year old so he can remain active, while wearing his Omnipod so I thought it might help. If you do decide to check her out, tell her Carpe Diem sent you.

I am not a active 12 years old but I have been pumping for 30 years and in all that time it has been a tubed pump.
I don’t swim a lot but spend time at the beach. And I just disconnect, but the cap on to avoid sand in the line and find with all the activity, I never have issues with no insulin on board.
I also use a Velcro belt when I’m running and whenever I don’t want to carry a bag. I put pump, phone, tablets & keys in it.
The tubeless option is great for kids but for me as a parent the Tandem that shuts off to predictively stop lows and now the same with the highs, means no more worrying.
For the first time in my long almost 50 years, I am thinking less about my diabetes. My little pump handles all of it!
Unfortunately what I like in a pump, might not be the big concern for you guys.
I listened to the Diabetes Connection a few weeks back that talked about a new website, I think it is called DiabetesWise. That talks all technology with no money for any of the companies it is rating. It has a quiz and helps you decide what is important to you.
Good luck in your journey!

@Sally7, I think technologies that automate delivery (whether open source loop, medtronic auto mode or Tandem Basal IQ/Control IQ) are worth even more for kids than for adults, and the availability of this tech should be one of the major considerations for a child’s pump.
It’s truly wonderful for you that this technology is reducing the thought you have to put into your diabetes. So think about a kid using a pump, who doesn’t have the decision making capacity of an adult, let alone your 50 years of experience to help make the right choices. As a parent I have the decision making capacity, but I’m not the diabetic so I can’t feel if I’m low or falling, nor do I have anything like your level of lived experience to inform my decisions. To add to that, much of the time my kid is at school, so I can’t just pull out his pump and run a temp basal or dial up a correction, I have to message him or his school and cause a distraction to his learning.
Unfortunately here in Australia we don’t have access to Basal IQ let alone control IQ yet as Dexcom G6 is held up in regulatory approvals (our local equivalent to the FDA is significantly stricter). At the time we chose my son’s pump I wasn’t confident enough to go open source loop (only a month after diagnosis), and didn’t like the Medtronic hardware or their reputation for marketing over post-sales support, so we went with T-slim on the promise of upgradeability, which 12 months later still hasn’t happened…

I just wanted to let everyone know that the lifewithlinnie video chat is starting this morning on Twitch TV at 9:30-10:30 EST. She’s the mom of a T1D 4 year old and an advocate for diabetics. She will be discussing some of the technology that she uses to manage her son’s T1D and other topics that are asked about in the chat room. You can check it out by going to Twitch TV and searching for lifewithlinnie
She could use all of the help she can get so spread the word. You can also follow her on twitter @LifewithLinnie

Thank you and don’t forget to smile!