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Swimming with Dexcom

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by mamattorney, May 27, 2014.

  1. mamattorney

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    This was the first big swimming weekend with my daughter wearing her Dexcom. The sensor failed after three days. Dexcom is replacing the sensor so that's great, but I don't want to be replacing sensors all summer (mostly because that night #1 stinks).

    After the first extended period of swimming, all the edges on the Opsite lifted, some all the way to the dexcom adhesive, so I think the sensor maybe got partially dislodged (?) that first time. We taped it down immediately and continued to get readings for two more days, but then, it was reading totally wrong (saying under 55 when she was in the high 100's, wouldn't accept a calibration, and then gave us the hourglass with blood drop combo. We tried to restart the sensor, but in the middle of warm up, it failed.

    I read a thread on swimming and some people use skin tac (causes a blistery reaction in my daughter so that won't work), opsite (we already use this) and there was some mention of vet wrap. Is the vet wrap just for fear of losing the transmitter or does it help keep the sensor on? I need all your help on sticky solutions or else this is going to be a long summer!
     
  2. ksartain

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    We just use opsite. Chris played and swam in the ocean for 4 hours yesterday and we had no problems with it coming off. If it does start to peel, we just cut what peeled off and use new tape. I think his body takes the adhesive well, though.
     
  3. Cheetah-cub

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    We just had the same problem as reported by the op. My 10-year-old swam in the pool for nearly two hours, then we got false low alerts all night long. I got up five times to test her due to low alerts, and she was in range with low 100's all night. And the adhesive is starting to peel off.
    I am a bit worried. We are going to be swimming a lot this summer. Other Dexcom users have this problem? I am still hoping this is not the norm for swimming with the Dexcom.
     
  4. hawkeyegirl

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    We've had one instance with swimming where it caused the sensor to go wonky, but since we started using vet wrap, we haven't had any more issues. If he's just in a regular pool, we don't bother with the vet wrap, but in a big public pool or waterpark, I'm not taking the chance of losing that transmitter.
     
  5. AmyJoeBut

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    We mostly swim in a pubic pool, so I definitely will get the vet wrap. But here is a dumb question-- do you put it right over the whole thing? Do you cut a hole for the sensor? Or just put it around the sides? We've had the dexcom for a while, but this is our first summer and I'm nervous about the water. We can't even go more than a week because the tape comes off with showers. (We also have major issues with all of the adhesives that we tried so far. I think we've gone through just about every one mentioned n this site and they all bother his skin.)

    Thanks!
     
  6. StacyMM

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    Mine practically live in the pool and we don't have issues (knock on wood!) so I'll share what we do, in case it could help. Alcohol wipe, barrier wipe, hypoallergenic Skin Tac (it's a different version), Dexcom, Hypafix tape. We tape from insertion so that there is no peeling. Once it starts to peel up, we remove that cover and put new tape down.

    We do have issues with water getting between the site and the transmitter once or twice a month. We pop it, wipe with alcohol, let it dry and pop it back in. Happens more with showers than pools, though.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  7. mmgirls

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    I think you mean that you get water between the transmitter and the Dexcom site "cradle" for the lack of a better word.

    I will also that the transmitter out and clean the back off or water or dried water if I start getting weird numbers after water paly.
     
  8. kt_mom

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    I've been worried about how the dex was going to do wtih swimming. What is this vet wrap and how do you use it?

    I've read several places that people pop the transmitter off and dry it and put it back. It "sounds" easy, but how easy is it really to get it off while its attached? I don't find it that easy to get out of the "cradle" when its not on her, and I think it would be even harder to do while attached to DD without pulling the whole thing out.
     
  9. Lakeman

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    Just bought the vet wrap the other day based on a recommendation from this site. Got it at Farm and Fleet. It comes in multiple colors - my daughter wanted blue and red. She is enamored with it because she thinks it looks sporty. I compared it to a similar product since I happened to be in Petco and the vet wrap is a better size for a better price. What is it? Well its kind of sticky - like post its. We put the dex on my daughters arm and wrapped the vet wrap around it kind of snug. It sticks to itself and even stays stuck when wet. No need to tuck it under or knot it. Worked great for about an hour then I noticed that while it was still snug it had slipped down her arm and was no longer covering the dex. It would not re-wrap wet so I cut a new piece and made sure it was slightly snugger above the dex. Worked great the rest of the day. I don't know what product designed for humans would be comparable but I do know that other tapes we have bought cause a rash. We were at Great America and we learned that you can't effectively rip it. So we went to the first aid station to borrow scissors. I would think one could easily pre-cut some and wrap it back around the roll.
     
  10. hawkeyegirl

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    No, we don't cut a hole for the transmitter. (It would basically be impossible with this product, anyway.) It's a stretchy sort of bandage wrap that you just cover the whole thing with. I think it helps prevent water getting between the transmitter and sensor, because it really holds the whole thing down tight. It sticks to itself, but comes off easily when you're through with it. We swear by it for swimming.
     
  11. mmgirls

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    actuall my dd has had vet wrap on for the last few days, holding on a sensor that is working great except for that it adhesive has failed after a sweaty day working in the yard.

    I should have put a new sensor on last night but forgot, so I will just re -wrap it and hope we get another good day with it. I also use it for football practice, and hip hop dance routines when done in public.
     
  12. mamattorney

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    OK - off to order some vet wrap!
     
  13. mmgirls

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    I get mine at Petsmart,my local one actually has more colors than WalMarts athletic section.
     
  14. AmyJoeBut

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    I can't even begin to tell you all how excited I am about this! You all are awesome. Thanks!
     
  15. bamaboyd82

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    This may be a dumb question, but using the vet wrap assumes the CGM is placed on the arm, right? Vet wrap wouldn't work around the abdomen, would it?
     
  16. hawkeyegirl

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    Theoretically it could work, but it wouldn't be very comfortable. ;) Yes, I'd assume vet wrap was only a viable solution if the sensor was on the arm (or thigh, I suppose).
     
  17. MomofSweetOne

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    My daughter wears the sensor on her lower back. We hypafix with small strips all around the adhesive and the put a big piece of hypafix all over everything, including the transmitter. We do it right as part of insertion, and then we don't have to touch it again until the sensor died. It's done well with swimming.
     
  18. kt_mom

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    So it wouldn't be comfortable around the abdomen?

    DD is going to overnight camp this summer (not D camp) and I know the will swim in the lake everyday. Under a full piece swim suit I wonder how uncomfortable it would be to put on just to swim.

    Thankfully the camp is only about 10 minutes from home, so I can go and change the sensor out if I need to, but I was hoping to have a good established one going all week.
     
  19. mmgirls

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    if on the tummy and I wanted waterproof I would go with something like tegaderm + pad
     
  20. dshull

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    I have been wondering about this myself, as this is our first summer with Dexcom. We can get 10-14 days out of a sensor, and tape it with opsite when it first starts peeling up. He's been in the pool some this past week and it's still on but once he starts swimming every day, I don't think we'll get that long out of it.

    Vet wrap sounds like a good idea, but my question is this - are your kids really OK with a brightly colored bandage (for lack of a better word) wrapped around them for all to see? My 9 year old does not seem to care that people see his dexcom on his arm (which they always assume is the pump), but he really can get annoyed when they ask what it is. Not because he's embarrassed, but just because he would rather be playing with the other kids than answer their questions. I don't want to lose that transmitter in a pool or lake, but I also think if I wanted to wrap it up more than it already is, he would not be happy because it would just draw more attention to it. Any thoughts?
     

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