Discussion in 'Stickies' started by wendywohns, Feb 8, 2011.
What age is appropriate for children to manage their own pumps?
It depends on the child honestly, your either ready or your not, if the child shows that he or she is ready, willing, and responsible then sure, other wise don't push it.
YOU need to be sure your child can understand the numbers, carbs, and how to enter everything in.
Emma is 6 and recently wanted to start taking on more control of her pump.
We count the carbs (although she knows the carbs of some things, like her milk, etc). She enters the carbs, confirms whether we want to use the reading or not (if we recently treated a low or corrected a high, we don't). She sees the suggested dose, dials it up and then shows it to us to confirm. Sometimes we ask her to dial it down or up a little if we think it needs a slight adjustment, and then she presses ok.
She also knows how to do just a correction based on BG
My son is 8 and he handles most of his pump by himself while at school. At home, he's the button pusher, he won't let me push any buttons on his pump. We carb count for him, but he enters it all in, and verifies the dose with us before the final push.
It really depends on a child. My son has always been very responsible and trustworthy. I know he understands the consequences of cheating/lying/mistakes when it comes to insulin, and I can see he's very meticulous and careful about it. If it were my daughter though, she wouldn't be allowed near the pump buttons until she's a grown up
I think it depends entirely on the child. But as a sampling of various kids, I volunteer with a Diabetes day camp. Last year I supervised a large group of 8 year olds. All but one of them managed their pump independently.
My DD had the 6-7 years olds and all of them needed some level of help with their pump.
My daughter started the pump just before she turned 8 years old. From day one, she wanted to do the button pushing, and we verified.
Age 11, she manages her pump at school with no nurse, but she can text/call me when she needs to.
My dd was just turning 8 when she got her pump. She managed it herself within 2-3 days. Gotta love kids and technology At about 9 she started doing most of her carb counting also. The only thing we don't have her do independently is correcting a high BG if it's not mealtime because those decisions take her activity level, location, time of day and how responsive to insulin she generally is at that time of day, etc. into account and it is too much responsibility for her.
DD has been managing the pump (for dosing) for a year, I'd guess. She does everything except count the carbs and we have her give us the recommended dose before hitting the final button. She's been starting to count carbs, though, so perhaps we'll encourage that soon. She does snacks but hasn't tackled a meal yet.
She's always been independent. I was surprised when we went to a diabetes event last year because so many parents were doing the bg checks on their kids (older and younger than her) and DD was doing it on her own at 3. If she's awake, she would have a fit if we tried to do something she can do. It's like 7 going on 14...
Whew! My son is almost 7 and the notion of him operating his pump independantly gives me the cold sweats!
I think the answer to this varies a TON by child. I suspect that my non-D daughter who just turned 4 would do a better job operating a pump at this point than my son. He's careless and easily distractable, and I'm not sure I see that changing any time soon.
He does do all the button pushing when we do site changes (with my supervision). It's my way of getting him involved without it...gulp...having to do with dosing.
I have to say that my son is 9 years old and last year I couldn't imagine him doing the same pump management that his sister did at age 8. It really is personality, I agree.
My son started pumping when he was 7. He pushed all the buttons from the first pump class. We watched him. It just worked out better for school, etc. The nurse didn't know his pump as well as he did.
Around 8-9, he started dosing on his own for pre-packaged snacks that had the carbs on the back. Also around this time, he started getting invited to play dates and sleepovers. He really wanted to go, so the goal for him was to be able to bolus and check things on his pump while I was talking to him over the phone. I had to be confident that he could follow my directions without me standing over his pump. It was also at this time that we really started having different basal options in the pump so if he was at a friend's house, he could just switch to a different basal pattern if needed with my direction of course.
Now at 11, he still runs the pump and he does corrections, etc. and then let's me know what he has done or if he is unsure he will ask. At home, we race each other to see who can come up with the carb count the fastest and most accurate! He has yet to do a site change by himself but our goal is to be able to do that by jr high. He sees the nurse once a day at lunch time but boluses for classroom snacks in the classroom. If he has a high or low bg, he will handle it and then go see the nurse to make sure things are on track - hopefully next year in 6th grade, he will manage it on his own with the nurse/clerk there for backup.
As others have said, it really depends on the child. Ethan has been entering his own carbs into pump and giving bolus for almost a year now, and he just turned five. He can also give a correction for a hi (since it is the same as a bolus just no carbs to enter). We always check the numbers before he actually administers any insulin, and we insist on doing it if there is anything too out of the ordinary, like a correction with a bolus or a square/dual wave bolus. To be honest, when we have someone watching him who is unfamiliar with his pump, I feel more comfortable teaching them to just verify his numbers rather than teaching them how to work his pump.
My daughter is 9 and CAN do all the pump stuff if she is made to. She doesn't ever want to do it... At school they make her do it and watch over the process, at home she just fronts up to me with the pump and I do it all...
This has a table of responsibilities for different aged kids.http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/c...Documents/book-understandingdiabetes/ud18.pdf
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