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My son is 6 years old with diabetes. I am wondering if he's too young to
utilize the insulin pump. He has to have 4-5 glucose checks per day and takes
two shots per day as well. His amount of insulin in the morning is 8-9N-4R and
at night is 4N-4R. What should I do? 


I really think 6 is pushing the envelope here. How well is diabetes
controlled, etc.? 

It means you will have to be responsible for a bolus at lunch at school. I
expect no school will ever bolus pumps for kids. 

I would certainly move to a more intensive program first. Pump therapy is
really at least 4 shots a day and maybe 5 or 6, if you use insulin for every
significant carb intake. Pump therapy is 6 blood glucoses a day. 

Pump therapy really works best with carb counting and good management of food.

Are you up for all this with a 6 year old? I don't think you will get the full
benefits for the trouble and some restriction of lifestyle. Do you? 


Original posting 26 Oct 1998

Dr. Larry deeb is the person who responded to this question. Anyone else care
to respond??

My response follows.

Happy Halloween!!


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From: email @ redacted
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Subject: re: six year old and the pump
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 17:11:04 EST
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My 8 yo recently started on an insulin pump, and i think you were way off base
in your response. It is, by far, the best investment our family has made in
the last four years. I wish we had done it sooner.

Let me tell you what his routine was prior to pumping(he's had diabetes since
he was 4). He was on 4 shots a day(one of which had to be given at school by
the school nurse) and he carb counted. At six years old, he already knew what
carbs were in the foods he regualrly ate and would ask an adult if he wasn't
sure. We had to eat breakfast by 8, lunch by 12:30 and dinner by 5:30 and
sandwich in snacks in between. Lots of days he felt like a stuffed pig and
didn't want to eat anymore. Blood sugars were checked at least 4 times a
day.This was rare because his fluctuating bg's made it necessary to test him
6-8 times a day anyway.His Bg's on a GOOD day stayed below 240 and didn't drop
below 60. It was not abnormal for his numbers to range from 40-400 within a
12-24 hour period. I shudder to thing what these wide swings were doing to his
kidneys(and brain cells!!)

Since going on the pump, his bg's are STABLE, staying between 80-130, 90% of
the time. He's a different kid, his temperament has improved 100%. Since we no
longer have to deal with the fluctuating blood sugars, he feels good most of
the time. He eats when he's hungry and has actually LOST weight since

We also,as a family, have our lives back.For the first time in four years,
we're not tied to a clock. Have you ever tried coordinating insulin peaks and
the busy schedule of four very active kids??

I really don't understand how doctors can say that an insulin pump is more
work than traditional shots. Just the stress of never knowing exactly when Nph
will peak alone is worth trying an insulin pump. Besides,  a six year old with
D is alot of work anyway for the parents. And as far as school goes...our son
now does EVERTHING in the class. Any child who can play a video game, IMHO,
can operate an insulin pump(and should!!). A teacher who may be reluctant(or
outright refuse!) to give an injection will be far more comfortable
supervising a child using an insulin pump. And with the lack of nursing help
in alot of schools , you would think that pumps would be a little higher on
your list than they are.

As a "diabetes team",please reconsider your view of insulin pumps in kids. You
are doing too many families a disservice by discouraging their use in small

Thank you,

Mary DeMello


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Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/