Pump or no pump for a 5 year old?

My son was diagnosed about 4 months ago with Type 1 and MD says we are at the point of a pump if we would like. He will be 5 years old next week. Questions for anyone with a small boy who has a pump … we are doing finger pricks and insulin shots all throughout the day now and its quick and over. Does the pump give more freedom??? Will the pump hold him back from being active??? He rides fourwheelers and dirtbikes now … Will we have to be careful if he has a pump? Are they easy to break??

Pumps the doc has us researching are … Dexcom sensor, Medtronic Pummp and Enlite Sensor, Animus Pump-Vibe System, and Omnipod ??? Any Suggestions on any of these???

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I know quite a few folks with young kids who like having a pump. I’ve used Medtronic pumps since 2008 (currently using a 523, an older model…). I didn’t really think that shots were that big of a deal but I found that a pump was much less work for me. One big advantage for me is that it keeps track of everything, puts it into reports and lets you see the big picture to help navigate and organize diabetes tasks more effectively. This gives you more time to do other stuff, dirtbikes and four wheelers or whatever. I have found the Medtronic pumps to be durable enough to withstand drops, bike accidents, etc. although I’m my own motor. They aren’t waterproof.

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Here’s a good comparison of pumps


It’s from Integrated Diabetes Services, a trusted resource. They also have lots of CGM info on their website.

Our admin @Lorraine 's son Caleb started pumping when he was 3 yo (I think). He uses an Omnipod and a Dexcom cgm. He’s very active with swimming, baseball, dance, biking, skiing.

I’ve been pumping over 25 years. I use the accu-chek Spirit. The biggest advantage for me is the flexibility of being able to eat whenever I want, or skip meals, and easily make adjustments throughout the day.

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I can’t recommend the OmniPod system and Dexcom CGM highly enough!

My daughter has been using the OmniPod pump since a few months after diagnosis. No tubing and you can wear it while bathing and swimming. Doesn’t get much better than that!

IMO (and in the opinion of the vast majority of CGM users) the Dexcom CGM wins hands down! If it were me, I’d remove pump/CGM integration out of the decision process (at least as a positive attribute) because CGMs advance at a much faster pace than pumps do, which means that you will quickly end up with a pump that can only use an “older” version of the CGM if you wish to continue using it in an integrated fashion.

Whatever pump and CGM you decide to get, be forewarned that the learning curve is steep! Many have said that it’s like being diagnosed all over again. But like with anything I’ve undertaken that took a lot of work at first, the rewards are well worth it! There’s a lot more freedom as far as letting your child “graze”, it’s wonderful to be able to have different basal rates at different times of the day and night, and having tighter BG control is possible.

I just wanted to add that my daughter is physically active and has never had a Pod get bumped off.

I highly recommend getting your hands on a Dexcom before you start pumping. It will make adjusting pump settings so much easier and more accurate!

Please keep us posted on what you end up choosing and how it’s going for your little guy. Good luck!

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Another reason why I would have gotten a pump for my daughter ASAP after diagnosis if she had been as young as your little boy: little ones often need incrementally small dosage adjustments that are just not possible with syringes or pens. With the OmniPod, for example, you can dose insulin in increments as small as 0.05 units. I love this ability to be so granular!

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If you do decide on the OmniPod and Dexcom (no pressure here :wink:) I (and about a bazillion other members here on TuD) can offer you tons of advice and support in an ongoing fashion. Such as how to keep the Pods and sensors from accidentally falling off and how to remove them easily when it’s time to change sites. Right when I feel like I’ve learned everything there is to know about D, I learn something important and helpful from another PWD on this Forum!

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I should have started out with the following:

Welcome to the wonderful world of D (NOT!) and welcome to the truly wonderful world of TuDiabetes. That being said, I’m sorry that you and your son are now official members of The Club that Nobody Chooses to Join, The Tribe, The Sister/Brotherhood of the Big D, etc.

It sounds like you guys have done a stellar job navigating the first few months! It does at some point get even easier, but it is never easy. There will always be difficult days, but that is the way things go with life in general, no? Something I personally continue to find important: knowing that my precious daughter is a “normal” kid and can do what other kids can do. She just happens to have a disease that makes doing things a little more challenging and can involve a few more steps and requires a bit more planning in advance. But everything that is worth anything takes knowledge and hard work, right? I love nothing more than a challenge; the feeling of accomplishment is awesome. And our kids are, without a doubt, worth any challenge life can throw at us!

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I know a lot of TU-ers disagree because they just really dislike having to carry yet another gadget around. I’m not one of them—I use a Dexcom with my Medtronic, rather than Enlight. But I’m an adult; it might be much more of an issue with a little kid. Given the Omnipod also has its own controller, it ends up being a lot of stuff for a 5 yr-old to keep track of, not lose it or drop it in a puddle or whatever. (Thinking of my high-energy nutcase of a 5 yr-old granddaughter here).

On the plus side, the Dexcom Share feature is specifically meant to be a benefit to parents of T1s–being able to remotely monitor your kid’s BG from your smartphone would be huge, I’d think.

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If it were my child, I’d want a cgm as soon as possible… They’ve come so far, and with integration to your smart phone or an Apple Watch or whatever, it’d give a parent a great deal of peace of mind I think and an added margin of safety for the child-- they’re also a great tool to ensure you’re seeing the big picture and adjusting accordingly, even if only used for a while instead of indefinitely.

I’ve never used a pump, but given how far insulin technology has come over the years, I don’t think they have as many advantages to offer as they did even just a few years ago (not everyone agrees.). Since I’ve started using tresiba for basal, any thoughts of ever using a pump have faded away-- several others here have given up their pumps after they did a trial with tresiba as well-- so I would recommend talking to your doctor about that possibility before you decide that a pump is for you.

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i recommend the OmniPod system, & Dexcom CGM, i like the OmniPod, due to a lot of things, same for my Dexcom,.

& welcome to tud,i found everything, to be so helpful,.

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Caleb started pumping shortly after turning 4. It provided a tremendous amount of freedom bc we had previously been living to an eating schedule not only in terms of when but also how much to eat.

There isn’t an activity Caleb hasn’t been able to do with his pump (OmniPod). He has run track, been on a swim team, dances competitively, plays baseball, played basketball, been to triathlete camp, been snowboarding. The only issue I can remember was a particularly squelching, hot day when the Pod slipped off him bc the adhesive had been loosened from copious amount of sweat. That was only once. :slightly_smiling:

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Can only agree with @Lorraine and others above. A pump is not the only way, but a good one. My doctor always encourages me to try out stuff, and if its not for me, there is still the possibility to go back after a few months.
I am a counselor in diabetes camps here in Switzerland, and i work with many little kids who are on pumps, and it works great for them. The advantage is, little kids get used to something like a pump way faster than we do. i got my pump when i was 10 and dont remember it being an issue at all. It gave me so much more freedom to eat, run around and have fun.
I would defo give it a try!

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Just remember to change the needle often in order to avoid scars and irritation.

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Thank you all for all these wonderful responses!!! Im still researching and showing Matthew different videos/pictures of what this change will look like in reality for him … Def will keep everyone posted on what we end up going with

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here’s a good video on an omnipod change
http://www.tudiabetes.org/video/demo-how-to-put-on-a-new-omnipod-pump/

The nurse at my endocrinologist’s office has a grandson with diabetes. She could not wait until he turned 4 so he could start with the OmniPod. Now he can wrestle, swim, run, and do all of the other activities of a 4 year old without having to worry about a tube tearing out an infusion set. He is free to be a little boy. Additionally, if the other kids have a snack, he can have one too and just push a couple of buttons to add a little insulin to his system. The OmniPod will allow those .05 dosages that little ones sometimes require. I urge you to look into the OmniPod for your son. Having one has given me freedom I never knew before. You will not be sorry you gave your son (and yourself) the freedom of a pump.

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This search shows two videos of Caleb changing his Pod - one when he was 5 or 6 and then again a few years later with him doing it himself.

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=caleb+omnipod+change&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Good luck with your decision! Keep asking questions - we’re here to help!

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For an active 5 year old I would most definitely recommend an Omnipod system. It is the only tubeless option for a pump and is controlled remotely with a hand held PDM (personal diabetes manager). I have worn an Omnipod for almost 3 years having spent 38 years doing MDI and I would not go back to injections without a big fight.

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I have been on the medtronic pump, then I went on the Omnipod system. The Omnipod wins hand down for me Because it is tubeless and if h is an active kid as you say. Most all of the others have tube and they get caught on everything. and this one is easy to operate and program for different life situations. They have even made the pods smaller I would go with the OmniPod

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An Omnipod might work. It didn’t for me, but I’m 28. T-Slim is small. That could fit in his pocket or pouch. Infusion pumping is the way to go in my opinion. I think it would make him feel more human and free rather than being tied down to an injection regimen. I got diabetes in 1994 at the age of 8 and there were pumpers at diabetes camp in 1995. I switched to a pump in 2001 at the age of 14 simply because after 8 years of injections I just simply could not take another one! In the end, pumping would be better for his outlook on life and health in general.

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