I don't know if I should put my 3-year-old on the pump

    Brandan was diagnosed over 2 years ago. For about a year his nurses have been urging us to try the pump because he is very sensitive to insulin. Now that he is old enough to understand I am considering it. He sometimes runs from an injection or argues "I don't need insulin", but he gets over it 2 seconds after I kiss it better. He is over-all content with his diabetes management. If it's not broke, don't fix it, right? On the other hand, a pump would give him better sugar control, that's why I'm cosidering it. He may even prefer it when he realizes he's not getting stuck with a needle every time he eats. Also, he' s starting pre-school next year and I feel like it might be better for him and the nurse and/or teacher if he has a pump. My main concern is that it will restrict his activity. Can he still wrestle with his daddy? They play rough. His brother is only 16 months old, he won't understand to watch out for it. Won't he need to watch for it? If the site gets hit or pulled, will it hurt? I guess it wouldn't hurt to try, but I don't know if it's worth it. I keep going over the same pros and cons. Please share your experience and advice.

Hi Trish

My son is 7 years old so a little bit of an age difference.  We love love love his pump.  He wrestles, plays  football, plays rough all of the time.  It does not restrict his activity at all!!  We wrap the tubing around our finger into a flat circle and stick it in his waistband. It seems to stay there better when wind it in the little circle.  I am sure if someone yanked on the tubing it would hurt a little.  We have never had a inset pull out.  (had the pump almost a year)  It gave Collin the freedom to eat the when he was hungry and as often as he would like.   We have the Animas Ping and love it because I don't have to touch him to give insulin.  After he checks his sugar, I can give the insulin while he is playing or watching tv. (He has to be within 9 feet of meter)

I think the pump companies will give you a saline pump to try for week. Collin was nervous to try it at first.  We decided to try it for 2 weeks and if he wanted to go back to the shots he could do so.  Haven't looked back. 

I think they sell covers for the pump that lock so you don't have to worry about your little guys "messing" with it.

Good Luck


My daughter was 5 when she got her pump.  I was worried about the same things you are.  I love the pump because she gets to eat when she wants.  She was only 5 so she was wanting to eat all the time but didn't want to get shots all the time.  Now she has the flexablilty to eat when she is hungry.  I am also not worried about her teacher/nurse giving her the wrong amount of insulin since the pump knows how much insulin is already in her system so it doesn't give her too much.  The teacher is very happy about it and helps her do her pump in the classroom so she doesn't have to go to the office/nurse.  My daughter plays softball, soccer, and swims.  She is a very rough girl and it doesn't restrict her activiity at all.  She did have hers pull out once because I didn't put her tubing away.  I asked her if it hurt and she said no but that it did surprise her.  It doesn't hurt to have it get hit (my daughter has had her insertion hit with the soccer ball during games) because there is not a needle in her.  It is a very small canula which is a flexible piece of plastic.  It is a very hard choice and only one that you can make but for our family it was worth it.  She loves it and would never go back to needles.


My 4 year old has been on his Animas Ping since April 09.  It is WONDERFUL.  He is a very active little guy...runs, jumps, wrestles with his brothers and daddy, swims, etc.  He has only had his set come out a couple times and that was when the adhesive was worn and he caught it while pulling his pants down to go potty.    My son wears his pump in a waist pump pack that is usually under his shirt so the tubing, etc is not even exposed. He also has a younger brother (18 mons old) who is curious about it but does not pull on it at all (he actually tries to stick the old sets on himself when we remove them.) The Animas pump allows for the smallest amounts of insulin to be delivered and the meter works as a remote to bolus him so he doesn't have to slow down to get insulin (this is especially nice for his preschool teachers during snack time.)  Having a pump allows you to make bg corrections at anytime and allows the kids to eat more normally.  There is a bit of a learning curve when you come off a shot regime and numbers are still crazy because they are growing and changing so fast but it is soooooo much easier!  I highly recommend giving it a try!

THANK YOU ALL! You have certainly relieved a lot of my fears. I've never heard of the Animas Ping, it sounds great. I'm brand new to Juvenation (but not to diabetes) and I'm so happy to finally have someone, a lot of someones:) to talk to. Thanks again.

I have a cute story to share:

I explained to Brandan yesterday what a pump is and every time I gave him an injection I reminded him that when he gets a pump he won't have to stop playing and I'll just push a button for him to get insulin. Well, when I called him over to give him his dinner insulin he said "pump it, pump it" and put his fingers together like he was pushing a button! Of course, this AM when I talked about the pump he said, "I don't like it." (We're still gonna give it a try when we can get to pump class) :)

Trish - my son is 4 and we are going to give the pump a try - we go to class to get our saline trial pump next Mon!

I have concerns too - because my 20 mos old daughter loves anything with buttons, but from what I read and learn - after a while everyone just gets used to it and it is not a big deal. I plan to keep sharing our experience on Juvenation as we go thru it. But John needs so little insulin - we are really struggling right now with 0.5 units being too much for some meals and then having rebound highs. It is depressing. I am REALLY hopeful that the pump will enable us to give just the right (tiny) amount of insulin for each meal or snack and keep in in range more often.

I am a little nervous about John being against getting the infusion sets - but I plan to just keep reminding him that he only gets one 'shot' every 3 days instead of 4 shots everyday.

We had troubles doing the sets at first.  We found that if we gave my son headphones and something to watch (Curious George or another favorite show) that he was distracted enough to not even notice we put in his set.  It is easier than doing shots for sure.  Good luck to you both!


Brandan has the same problem with insulin doses. 1/2 unit too much and he drops, 1/2 unit too little he goes high. I even try 1/4 units sometimes with syringes that have the 1/2 unit markings.

The most irritating problem is that it takes a week or longer to figure out the correct doses (between the carb coverage and correction factor) and seems by the time I finally get him on track, it's time to change it again. Anybody else have that trouble?

Bryce is very sensitive too.  The Animas pump allows for very small doses which is nice.  We have the same prob with his numbers/insulin...it seems just as we find the pattern, it changes.  Oh the fun!  The past couple days we have had highs in the 300s all day then fighting lows all night.  I will be calling our diabetes team for some help figuring it out today.  

Hi Trish,

About keeping the tubing, etc. away from interested hands: we found that undershirts with a pocket in back were the most comfortable for him (he can lay on his back for diaper changes and naps with no problem) and the best way to keep the tube away from him or his daycare buddies. We're using undershirts from KPP http://www.mykpp.com/ and onesies from Angel Bear http://www.angelbearpumpstuff.com/. The fanny pack-type arrangement didn't work too well (we tried an IPod carrier as well), because it moved around, sometimes left he cord exposed, etc.
We know a 9-year-old using the pump who has occasionally had a problem due to being really active - like crashing his bike while wearing it (it scraped a hole in the hose), but overall he said the pump is tough and has let him do just about anything he wants.
Overall, we're really happy with the way the pump has kept Lukas' insulin levels under control (he's so small that shots weren't precise enough) and allowed him to eat multiple times a day without multiple shots. The only bummer is changing the insertion site, which just upsets him as the needle goes in. We're still newbies (have had the pump for a few weeks), so aren't as quick or adept as we probably will be after much practice.


The amazing thing about Brandan is that, even as a baby, he never minded his finger pricks or his insulin injections. I am worried about inserting his pump site though. I once tried an I-Port on him and he screamed so loud when I inserted it. He also got very upset when I pulled it off. I've heard about some cream that will numb his skin in the site area, I hope it works.

I'm not worried at all about him touching it, but I am worried about keeping his brother's hands off.

Hi Trish,

We put both my daughter and son on an insulin pump less than a year after they were diagnosed.  My son was 11 and my daughter 4 it was worth it.  She is now 6 and still remembers the shots.  She wants everyone to be able to have a pump when I let her know not eveyone wants one.  She is confused as to why and only remembers how many shots she had to get.  She is also on the animas ping it works great for us.  Even though they are attached it does not seem to get in her way at all.  She plays with both her brothers and she knows not to let anyone touch her pump.  She is in first grade and no one seems to play with it at school even when she was in kindergarten.  I put an inset in before they tried it you can definitely feel it in and feel when the tubing is tugged on but it does not hurt.  Maybe you can see if you can try that too just so you know how it feels it calmed me down a lot.  I hope this helps good luck.




Oh yes, I plan to wear one myself. In fact, I think it's mandatory at his pump class. I gave myself a shot of saline when he was in the hospital before I would give him one. Not just to see how it feels, I wanted to practice and I was my own guinea pig.

Hi everyone!

I want to thank you all for the tremendous support in this important decision. We saw Brandan's endo yesterday and we're going to pump class Dec. 8! I received the Omni Pod demo kit already and I look forward to seeing the Animas Ping at class!