Pumping at the beach

My 7 year old is not on pump yet but are hoping to be on it in the next month. My one concern is we are going on 2 week vacation to the east coast this summer and will be on the beach the entire time. Will this be a problem for the pump? Should we plan on using shots during this time?

Sounds like fun! The Omnipod is water friendly, as well as the Animas. Minimed claims to be water resistant, not waterproof. If my daughter swims (vs sunning herself or playing in the sand) she tends to drop really fast so we don’t wear the pump at all (or with the pod this year we will set basal to 0%). Pumping will allow you to adjust her basals on the fly vs. being locked into a 24 hour dose of Lantus. You will need a small cooler or something else to store her pump in when she detaches. This will keep sand out of the pump and keep her insulin cool.

Thank you for the reply! If we take it off while she is out on the beach will the insertion site get messes up being in sand and salt water? My Doctor suggested we might want to go back to using shots during this time…I would rather not if it can be avoided.

I typically attach my pump once per hour and give myself whatever my hourly basal rate is (usually around 1u), as well as any correction or food bolus whenever needed. I then put the pump in a cooler so that it stays cool.

I don’t have any problems with re-attaching after going in the water, just rinse it with water if you notice any sand or seaweed:) Do you know what infusion sets you will use? The quicksets and many others have a protective cover to put on when you detach. I generally don’t use it, but it may give you more piece of mind. The quicksets come with one with every set, some other types come with one or two per box.

I only go to lantus when I’m diving or going into the water for indeterminate periods of time. As long as your daughter is ok with coming out every hour or so, or you bringing it to her, it shouldn’t be necessary. You may be able to stretch things a little more, like 1.5 hours or so, but don’t go to long. You should have most of it figured out by the first day! Have FUN!

I think you could protect the sites pretty well with tegaderm and the protective caps.

Honestly, my hesitation with shots is that you have to decide your Lantus dose ahead of time. Swimming causes hard and fast drops for us — I’d rather be pumping so I don’t have a long acting insulin on board - hope that makes sense.

Why does your doc think shots would be easier than pumping at the beach? Do you know why he is saying that? Some people don’t like to keep track of the pump when their child takes it off - maybe that’s what he is saying. You do have to be careful that someone doesn’t walk away with your cooler or bag containing the pump.

I agree that is seems like a strange suggestion from the Dr. to revert to shots just because you’re on vacation and it involves swimming. Those are some of the times when the versatility and tighter control of the pump are the most desirable and beneficial. Don’t know what kind of pump you’re getting but if it is the Omnipod (which I highly recommend) you won’t have to take it off at all. Have a great time!

There should be no problem with going to the beach with the pump, as others have said. Take extra infusion sets and some extra ziplock bags (for the pump in the cooler, if you don’t go with the Omni). Really, you probably don’t even need to put it in a cooler, but perhaps in a large bag so it is out of the sun.

FWIW, I lived on a sailboat for 5 years and swam, beached or snorkeled/dove most days and never put my pump in a cooler.

Fair Winds,

Once again you guys all impress me with the responses…thank you all for the advice. In case your curious…my daughter is 7 years and we were looking at the ping. The omni pod just seemed a tad to big right now. Hopefully the small one comes out next year or so.

OK…I"m late on this post but I wanted to comment on this pumping at the beach thread. My 10 year old has been wearing an insulin pump for 5 years. We have ALWAYS been unsuccessful at the beach and have always had to revert to shots and then changing his site when we get home because it’s plugged with sand. Because you said you don’t have a problem replugging the pump in to your site when you get out of the water, I’d like to know how and why. Our situation is that my son wears an Animas pump. He takes it off when he goes in the ocean and we have a little plug cover to protect the site. Even when it’s covered, a few little grains of sand get caught in the site and we can’t even get off the cover. We’ve tried flushing it by using a syringe full of water, but that doesn’t work. We’ve tried not using the plug and we still can’t flush out the site to get the pump back on. I’m not sure how you are successfully doing this and I’d like to know if you do anything else. We got to the beach A LOT in the summer and everytime, I flush it out, flush it out and EVERY time we end up having to change the entire site. It is really frustrating because I don’t want to have to change it every day. I’m tempted to just put him on shots for the summer because he’s getting too many pokes and bruises changing it every day. Maybe it’s his age because he rolls around in the sand and is in the water constantly. Any other suggestions?