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Question:

From Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA:

My 12 year old son has been on a Cozmo pump since November. We are going to Florida in two weeks. How do pumpers handle a day spent at a water park? Currently, when swimming, he disconnects when in the water, but that is for short periods of time. Does switching back to injections for a day like that seem the best solution and, if so, are there ramifications to be mindful of?

Answer:

One of the most important things that you need to consider with a Florida water park is the heat. You don't want to leave insulin sitting in a hot beach bag on a chair in the sun. It could become too warm and lose is effectiveness. This would be true for insulin sitting in a cartridge in a pump, insulin in pre-filled syringes, or insulin in its original vial. You need to keep it cool in order for the insulin to work as it should. Insulin packaging should include the temperature range at which it works optimally; never freeze insulin and try your best to keep it from overheating.

Most water parks will have a first aid station with a refrigerator. Call ahead to find out and ask specifically if they will be able to hold onto your son's insulin pump. If so, then it's very simple to store the insulin pump inside the first aid station where it is cool. Actually, no need to refrigerate if the first aid station is air conditioned and you stop by every hour or so to bolus the last hour's total basal and cover any food that was consumed. You'll want to test frequently as well - the energy involved in being an active kid in a water park might decrease insulin needs for the day.

A word of warning... find out where the first aid station is before you settle on beach chairs. Many of the water parks are quite large, and you could find yourself with a long hike to and from first aid if you haven't planned it well.

LB

Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:

The Cozmo pump is "water-proof." [The Animas IR1000 is also waterproof. Ed]

If the theme park is really a water-themed park with water-slides, inner-tubing, wave-pools, etc, then I might advise disconnecting the pump and use Lantus as the basal insulin for the day and bolus with injections of short-acting insulin (or briefly re-connect the pump if the site is still good after all that rough-housing) that is stored in the cool first aid station.

If the theme park has the occasional "wet ride" that you can get somewhat or even very (but transiently) drenched (a log ride or Amazon-safari-type ride), then may need to do nothing at all.

I would have a "back-up plan, " such as Lantus, on hand just in case regardless.

DS

Additional comments from Brenda Hitchcock:

If you want to keep some fast acting insulin and syringes or a pen with, you may want to get something like a Frio wallet. You could also use a small insulated bag to hold the insulin and the meter. If you put an ice pack in it, you would then need to make sure the insulin and meter do not touch the ice pack itself or they will freeze. An option is to place the ice pack in the bottom, then cover it with a layer of cardboard and/or something like two washcloths. It would be "safer" to keep your supplies at the First Aid Station unless you have someone available to sit and watch your supplies throughout the day.

BH

DTQ-20040412085543
Original posting 14 Apr 2004
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:56
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