Dexcom - Receiver for an 11 year old

My very active son was diagnosed last week. My wife and I will need to have visibility to his readings during his athletic events. Would he be able to wear a Smart Watch instead of a phone to upload his readings to the cloud in real time - or does he need to have a phone. He plays highly competitive ice hockey, so carrying a full phone during games and practices may not be realistic.


Hi @ChicagoHockey welcome to TypeOneNation. No you need a phone and it needs a cellular data connection or WiFi connection for you to read the CGM. You could use a sports arm band and have the phone under the hockey uniform and padding.

I understand why you would want to see his numbers constantly but even if you didn’t have CGM you’d just test more and after a while you’ll know where he wants to be with sugars for a game/practice. He’ll need fast carbs and regular breaks to be able to adjust.

The CGM isn’t all that accurate when blood sugars are changing fast, his safest bet is a finger stick test especially during activity.

Good luck!


Hi -

I’m also in Chicago and have a 10 year old son who plays hockey. My 13 year old daughter has a Dexcom which reads to her iphone and to her Apple watch. The Dex reads to the phone not the watch - so it’s the phone that needs to be in proximity. Although he could put his phone on a spibelt around the waist, I would not recommend wearing his phone during hockey. I think maybe the best solution would be for him to keep his phone on the bench and you will get a reading when he skates close by or is sitting out for a shift.

My daughter dances and she leaves her phone on the side of the studio and still gets a reading throughout, but that’s a much smaller space than a rink. However, when she’s at a performance or at the pool she’ll just come back occasionally to her phone to get a reading. The Dex reads every 5 minutes and if you are out of range so that it can’t read, it will fill in the gaps and give you all the readings you missed when you get back in range. With time and experience you will also have a better idea of what your son needs to keep his blood sugars steady during exercise.

I hope this helps, feel free to reach out directly if you have any other questions.

@ChicagoHockey Hi Nathan, and welcome to the TypeOneNation Forum!

As @Joe said, cellular technology is needed to transmit the glucose information to “a cloud” in order for you or your wife to be able to retrieve that data. All the available continuous glucose readers [that I’ve seen] can transmit only via BTE low energy. That said, I’ve found that my DexCom G6 transmitter connects well with my Galaxy phone at a considerable distance and doesn’t miss glucose readings.
As Nareen @nkim wrote, a viable solution could be to place your son’s phone on the bench, near center ice, where it will pick-up signals from a CGM. Just be aware, that especially during rapid change in glucose level, that body glucose level [BGL], glucose level in the interstitial fluid from which a CGM gets its information, will lag behind blood glucose [BG] level by 10 to 20 minutes. Use finger-stick BG reading between periods to make your guess at how much your son should eat before start of the next period.

Especially at the beginning, it will be a guessing game - as I have found by living with diabetes for 60++ years. Be conservative; eat more than “calculations” suggest and, if necessary, a high glucose level can be corrected later - wait four hours before making a correction.

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@ChicagoHockey. Nathan, did your questions get answered about watching your son’s BG while playing hockey?

I saw a crazy idea in a different area, and if you can ‘bubble gum and bailing wire’ this together it is far enough out in the twigs to work. There is a device used to extend the range of wireless network cards call a Cantenna. The original was built using a Pringles potato chip can as a prototype. The next step is to open a Dexcom receiver and connect a frequency tweaked Cantenna on the Dexcom transmitter frequency. Reassemble the receiver and the Cantenna. Once in the game, focus the Cantenna on your son while reading the Dexcom assembled on the back of device.

This home made system may work using the same thoughts and tricks that NASA uses with deep space probes. A signal barely able to cross the street is picked up because of the increased size of the antenna.

Just a wild and crazy idea.

I’ve never heard of that - it’s amazing what creative and detrimened mind can come up with!
One word of caution: chances are you may invalidate you warranty on the receiver by doing your own thing - even if it continues to work but suffers other damage. The handheld G6 receivers aren’t terribly expensive, relatively speaking - I saw and on Amazon due less than $200.00 - so if you’re going to try this I suggest keeping a backup on hand.

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Hi @ChicagoHockey , I’m new to this forum as my son just got diagnosed with T1. He’s also a Ice Hockey player and was hoping you could possibly provide some information and advice. I’ve noticed that any time he’s at practice or playing in a game that his Dexcom G6 unit is giving faulty reading (above 400), which after taking his sugar levels with finger pricks proves to be off by over 300. He currently has it on his thigh. Have you seen anything like this happen with your son? Where does he wear his Dexcom unit? Thank you in advance for your advise.

Hi Marco @mppolo9 I no longer play ice hockey - I’m now in my 80s - but I did learn many years ago not to inject insulin in my legs on days of vigorous activity because the activity has lots to do with insulin absorption rate. Perhaps The Dexcom in the thigh could be affected by the interstitial fluid, where the Dexcom sensor is reading, the muscles in the legs are demanding the body to send glucose for feed. Similar to when waking up after a night’s sleep the released adrenaline demands that stored glucose flood the body - “Dawn Phenomenon”.

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Hi Marco -

We have not experienced this issue; in fact he usually drops during hockey so he always has a Gatorade with him on the bench. My son typically puts his desk on his upper butt area; maybe give that a try.

Good luck and happy to talk through any other questions that come up - we’re still figuring it out too almost 2 years into diabetes.

Thank you Nathan @ChicagoHockey , you’re the second person to recommend that placement, so definitely will give that a try. Appreciate the feedback and recommendation.