Tips for going to back to school for my 11 yr old starting on pods?

My son is switching to the Omnipod on Tuesday and is so very excited (as am I). As he transitions back to school on Wednesday, do you have any advice that would help make this as easy as possible? Any tips or ideas for a new pod user would be appreciated, especially those of you with kids. The school nurse is not familiar with this brand of pump and I work 30 minutes away from his school so I am a little worried how we will address any issues with failed pods etc.


I would say..make sure he takes a few extra pods to fact LEAVE a couple at school just in case. Maybe also take an extra bottle of insulin to keep at school as well (room temp always in pod)

I found that my initial settings were WAY too make sure he checks bg every hour or so at first.

Good luck!

My 10 year old switched from MDI to pods a week before school started. It’s a private school w/ no nurse. We had a lot of failed pods at first. She was able to do her own pod changes from the start, so she calls us and then changes it. She also calls every time she’s over 250 so we can help determine the cause. We showed the main teacher the difference between normal beeps and the alarm sound. We try to change pods right after school.

We also worked through having the PDM locked in a locker. For some reason she put it in there at first. Once she needed a friend to help open it when she was high. Another time she walked to her locker from the music room when she was 45. Eventually she decided on her own that it was best to keep the pdm with her.

We have school orders that give insulin doses but then say something like “the pump does advanced calculations that take more factors into account. Accept the doses the pump suggests.” If we had a nurse, I would like those orders because it would take the hassle out of reverse corrections, different targets for PE days, etc. It should be easy to for the nurse to see the calculations on the screen if needed, and you can always review it later, if needed.

Overall, it’s been great.

I would say to pay attention to the time you change the pod. Ninety minutes after activating a new pod, it will want a blood glucose test. It begins to warn you to change the pod four hours before it expires and continues until you change it. You might want to time it so you change it at 8:00 PM this way the warnings begin at 4:00 PM and the 90-minute blood test (with the change at 8:00 PM) would fall at 9:30, possibly doubling as a bedtime reading too.

Do you keep insulin vials at room temperature or just remove them from the fridge an hour or so before you plan to use one?

Thanks - great idea. Our school nurse follows those doctor's order 100% so I will make sure they are more flexible.

On that note...if you set the confidence reminders to VIBRATE...note that the pdm will keep vibrating and draining battery life until you acknowledge the BG reminder. Takes a little getting used to...couldn't figure out why my first set of batteries lasted 1

Great advice - one less needle stick is always a good thing. I love the wealth of knowledge this community has :-)

Is he brand new to pumping or just the Omnipod?

New to pumping.

LOL, Thanks ... now I know why my batteries didn't last! I never put the two of them together, I just figured I had a bad "starter" set of batteries.

once I finish a vial I take out a new one and leave it at room temp.

Thats what I do…in this case I would just leave one out at room temp at school as well. They say unopened bottles are good for 30 days at room temp

#1 Have him wear the Pods on the back of his arm or upper side of the butt cheak, no one will every see the pod and it won't get in his way.
#2 get a CGM (I use the Dexcom) ASAP because the biggest danger is him not knowing his BG's.
#3 Make sure he keeps the Device with him to make changes to his basal or bolus rate at any time in class.
#4 and maybe most important make sure he has extra pods in his backpack at ALL times along with and insulin vial and a syringe in case he needs a big bolus and the pod just takes too damn long to get that much insulin absorbed.

The PDM can be changed to a one hour alert to pod change time. I was always told better to change in the morning as more blood tests are possible during the day to ensure correct working.

so how is he doing, how are his basal settings, it he doing ok with the extra checks this was the most bothersome for my son, I hope he has the new smaller pods, we find them more reliable. sounds like you have gotten a lot of good advise. Jacob keeps all his extra supplies at the nurse ( extra pods, insulin ect) he keeps his PDM in his lunch box, he is 15 and now he tests and boluses on his own in the lunch room, ( a different ball game in high school, but this is good moving towards independence) he knows to check in with the nurse if there is an issue but honestly he knows more about his D and pump than the nurse. he always carries an extra pod and insulin in his pdm case if he is going to be away from home for more than an hour or 2. Say he is at a friends and his pod falls off obviously it should be addressed right away but if he was running ok before, is active and obviously doesn't eat he can go an hour or so without his pod on obviously not recommended we learned this the hard a friends house, had a failure, forgot his insulin had to come home change pod and despondent for hours we saw his endo that week and she said he could of gone an hour without it....anyways please let us know how you are both doing! blessings, amy

Thanks for the advice. One of the biggest issues for my son was that he did not have a very high basal requirement (only 5U) when we first started looking at pumps. Then over the course of the next 2 months, his basal rate went down to 1U and then none, just at the time he was finally approved to start the pump. So of course, then he did not qualify for it anymore and he was so disappointed. So over the last few months his endo has increased his basal insulin and changed his I:C ratio. This has got him stable again while taking basal insulin but his ratio is now 1:30 which is hard to manage in a child that does not eat a huge ammount of carbs. I find we have to give him 'food to match his insulin' rather than 'insulin to match his food'. We eventually switched back to MDI as it was easier to give insulin in small doses than with his pen. I am really looking forward to being able to give insulin in smaller, more controlled amounts which should give us better control overall.

The extra BG checks don't really bother him as he is so motivated to start using the pump. I know we have a steep learning curve but we are motivated to make this work. Thanks for your comments - it really helps 'speaking' to people that understand all the questions and concerns of those of us who are fairly new at this.

One thing that might help is a case that can carry all your son's needs. I use these: and can fit the PDM, BG testing stuff and extra pod and wipes, an insulin vial and a tube of glucose tablets. I imagine better pouches, but haven't found anything better yet.

That bag looks great. I have been looking for something small that would fit everything without him looking like he is wearing a purse!

Sugar medical supply has a new blue omnipod case: These are a little bigger than the one the pdm comes with - so things fit a little easier.