Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Insulin Pumps Fine for Preschoolers

Parents Pumped: Kids' Blood Sugar Levels Controlled
WebMD Health News

May 3, 2004 - Preschoolers can safely use insulin pumps to control diabetes, a new study shows.

The findings are being presented this week at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in San Francisco.

Insulin pumps, which have been available for two decades, have been shown to safely replace multiple daily insulin shots -- keeping blood sugar levels under control. The pumps are pager-sized devices worn next to the skin, and they deliver a programmable, continuous flow of insulin. They are worn both day and night.

Research shows the insulin pump works well for school-age children. But what about preschool kids?

In this pilot study, researchers enrolled 16 children -- all about 4 years old, all diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Half got the insulin pumps, and half got their usual insulin shots for the six-month study.

During the entire study, blood sugar levels were stable in both groups of children, reports lead researcher Lisa Opipari-Arrigan, PhD, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.

The two treatments did not differ in safety or effectiveness, says Opipari-Arrigan.

But the effect on parents was dramatic: "Pump parents" reported less worry and emotional distress than the other parents.

Researchers report only one side effect: Children wearing pumps gained weight, whereas the other kids did not.

At the study's end, all kids in the pump group -- and one-half of the insulin shot group - decided to use pumps. This "suggests overall parental satisfaction with pump therapy," writes Opipari-Arrigan.

The pumps "may significantly reduce diabetes-related stress in families with preschool children," she writes.

SOURCE: Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting, San Francisco, May 1-4, 2004.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner