More Pump Tips for Swimmers

Apr 1, 1998

Linda Fredrickson, MA, RN, CDE, vice president of global medical education at MiniMed Inc., writes that pump users who do not swim for such an extended period of time usually disconnect from their infusion site. Fredrickson offers Emily Adamski, a 15-year-old who was recently on the cover of Diabetes Forecast, as an example of how the pump can be managed when swimming.

In the book "Teens Pumping It Up: Insulin Pump Therapy Guide for Adolescents" by Elizabeth Boland, MSN, APRN, PNP, CDE, Adamski offers the following tips:

  1. Keep the pump out of the sun.
  2. When at the beach, put your pump in a "ziplock bag," wrap it in cloth and place in a cooler with an ice pack.
  3. If you (girls) want to wear a two-piece bathing suit, put the infusion site below the bikini line, or try using your buttocks as a site.
  4. If you want to leave the pump on, you can use the SportGuard, a clear case worn over the pump to swim. Otherwise, with a quick twist, you can undo the quick release. If you leave the pump off for more than an hour check blood sugar and re-hook up and give yourself some more insulin according to your blood sugar.
  5. To help the tape stay on better, put an extra piece of tape (such as IV 3000 or Polyskin) over the site. When finished swimming, dry off the site thoroughly.
  6. Remember, if you are active and you have the pump removed, always check blood sugar frequently to determine whether insulin is needed.

"Teens Pumping It Up" will be available from MiniMed and other diabetes bookstores before the summer.

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