Looking for advise/ideas for football season

This will be our sons first seasin in football.  He has dreamed of playing since he was 4. but had to wait until the age of 8 (school requirement).  We broke his heart last year telling him no. It was his first year with diabetes and we were still learning and terrified!

This year I say yes and Dad says... "I dont know about that."  We just realized Football clinic is nexxt month so we need to get our questions answered and figure out what is best for him!

Here are my questions:

Do you leave your pump on during football?

Where can we get a protector for the pump? We have been told there is a item that goes around your belly and the pump fits right in it for safety and you do not need to disconnect.

Is it unrealistic to ask to be a coach or asst. coach so that we know we can be on the sidelines and checking him regularly through out the games?

Any additional advise is really appreciated! Thank You So Much!

First, let me say that there is no way that diabetes should prohibit your son from doing anything that he dreams of doing!  I understand that as a parent you are extremely worried.....but he will do fine.  There will be trials and tribulations, I am sure, but with a careful watch and care, I am sure that he will do fine.  I believe there are bands/protectors that you can purchase for the pump for the situation that you are talking about, but I do not have websited off the top of my head.  I am sure if you search google, you will find lots of stuff!!  It may be safer to disconnect.  You should talk to your doc about what to do in this case.  Others here at juvantion may be more helpful!  I don't think you have to be a coach, but just have a talk with the coach asking him/her if you can be on the sidelines until you can work out how things are going to go.  If your son gets a lot of playing time, it will be a good idea to check often to see how he's doing.  But I am sure you already knew that!  The sun can do funny things to blood sugar numbers too.....

I wish you the best of luck and hope that your son enjoys football!  Hang in there and try not to worry too much!!! 

I always left my pump on durning cheerleading, you can usually purchase cases and straps from the pump company.  You may need to decrease the basal if he does not disconnect, or he may just want to disconnect and part way through the game hook up for a bolus to maintain a good level.  It is not unrealistic to ask to be that, as long as you are there for the team and not just him.  If you feel you need to be on the sidelines you can speak to the coach about helping out with water or something during the games, but let your son do it on his own a little too.  Everythign will work out, talk to your doctor about changes in insulin and such for the games and practices.

My only advice is to not play for USC!  lol

My advice is test often at the beginning, find something that works (most of the time), and then maybe back off and test less. It is exhausting to test every fifteen minutes during a two hour sports practice, but it is really the only way to figure out what works, what drills need more insulin, what drills need snacks, etc. For lots of people anaerobic exercise (the kind that makes you sore) makes blood sugars go higher, and enduarance exercise makes them go lower - for me that means for a long run, i lower my basal rate or disconnect, but for a short run, i have to increase my basal. It takes lots of work and lots of logging to figure it out. 

My other piece of advice is related - on game days, he may need lots more insulin due to the increased adrenaline that comes with nerves, so even if you've got it figured out at practice, game days might be different. 

I suggest sitting your son down and telling him how excited you are for him to start playing, and let him know that for the first little while you're going to be testing often because you want to make sure he's playing the best he can - and lows and highs will make him play worse. Good luck! It's totally worth the effort! 


This article suggests one method of protection. 



This article has another method of protection, and also information about disconnecting / staying connected.


My son has been playing football with T1 since he was 8.  He is now 13, this will be his 6th year.  We spoke with medtronic and found that if he is wearing the pump during contact sports and it is damaged, they will not cover replacement.  We have had success with removing the pump and leaving it on the sidelines.  He will test and if needed hook-up for a bolus,(if the game gets intense he will sometimes spike as his adrenelin kicks in)  but generally the activity will keep his bg in check.  He will check before the game and snack if needed (usually an 18 carb pack of snack crackers works well).  We have found that his blood sugar will drop about two hours after the game.  Sometimes it is a long night with check and treat intervals, but we are all willing to work thru it as he loves the game. 

It is more difficult for T1's.  Practice can be much harder to handle than the games.  We also remove the pump for practices.  He checks before practice and at every break.  Just make sure to always have something on hand to treat a low, and be there to support and encourage him.  We have always told our son that diabetes will not stop him from doing anything he wants to do.  It just takes a little more work and planning.  When he was playing Jr. Pro we went to the sidelines to check at half-time and anytime he called us down.  Coaches have never had a problem with that.  Now that he is playing school ball and he is older, he mostly handles it himself.  I will check with him before the game to see what the starting numbers are and then watch to make sure he's checking periodically.  He will call for me if he needs me.

We certainly don't have all the answers and haven't found the perfect plan, but we have never missed a practice or a game.  Only once or twice has he had to come out of a game for a low, and then it was only for a few plays.  As soon as the bg is back up he is ready to go back out there.  It's all trail and error and  prayer and patience.    Good luck this season!  He'll do fine.

One more thing......we have found that it is best to have the cathater in his upper buttock  or upper arem during games.  On the stomach the sweat usually makes the glue turn loose and on upper thigh makes it too hard to hook-up and un-hook quickly.  We have only had a cathater ripped out once and we just popped another one in and got back to it!