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From Somers, New York, USA:

Can my daughter with type 1 be a lifeguard? She's been the top sprinter on her track team since 7th grade, a soccer star, and dancer and actually didn't even think when she thought of this for next summer when she's 16. She wears an insulin pump, a MiniMed 522, with her insertion site on top of her butt, so I'm not sure if she could wear it clipped to shorts. I don't know if an employer would hire her if it would take her a second to unclip the pump if she needed to rescue someone.


Your daughter can be a lifeguard. It would be important to talk through her diabetes care with your daughter's diabetes health care team. It is important that she be very responsible for her own diabetes care as well as for the lives she is guarding. She needs to tell her future employer about the diabetes and that the management of her diabetes would not interfere with her ability to work. There will be things to consider: does she want to disconnect from the pump and monitor glucoses? Does she want to supplement insulin by injection/pen or reconnecting and bolus by pump for food and missed basal during the disconnected period (make sure to get instructions from her diabetes care team)? Or, does she want to continue to wear the pump, in a location that she can quickly disconnect? She will need to keep a cooler and plastic bag for her supplies to protect them from the heat. She will need to monitor her glucose regularly to prevent lows (and catch highs before they become a problem). Keep food and drinks handy. Discuss infusion sets with her diabetes care team to prevent issues with sets not sticking in the heat and water or any special skin care needed. If she works at an indoor pool, it may not be as hot and she would not have all of the above issues, but many of the above points still pertain.


Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:

Assuming the teenager becomes a lifeguard or is heavily involved in watersports, another possible pump option would be an OmniPod.


Original posting 7 Sep 2009
Posted to Other and Exercise and Sports


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:18
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