T1DM Toddler, pumps and daycares

Hello all,

Our 18 month old son was just diagnosed with T1DM this week and he and his non-identical twin currently attend daycare.

He has been started on the Medtronic pump in the hospital and tolerating it ok so far, just trying to get his dosing right.

Does anyone have experience with keeping their T1DM toddler in daycare and educating the staff about using the pump and counting carbs, watching for lows, etc? We’re wondering if we’re going to have to pull him and his brother from daycare and get a nanny, which would be a tremendous financial hardship for us. His daycare said they’d be willing to learn about it and see if it was an option and on the flip side, whether we would even feel comfortable with it as parents.

Any tips/advice/experience would be appreciated.

Wow!! I’m just shocked that an 18 month old can wear a pump!! I have boy/girl twins as well! They are 3, and our son was diagnosed on June 9th.
Four days in hospital and NO ONE suggested or talked about a pump as an option for him…all the nurse and doctors talked about it as an option " for the future." I’m curious about your Diabetic care team’s approach towards the pump…did you request it or did they suggest it, and if so, why the pump over the shots for such a small child? ( sorry to veer off topic, but I was shocked/ amazed to read about your child being so young and on a pump in the 1st place!!)
In response to your question, I think it’s good that the daycare is " willing" to work with you to manage your child’s care, but in the reading I’ve been doing in the last few weeks, remember, that although state laws may vary, any school/daycare facility that recieves federal funding are required by fed law to work with children with disabilities, under both the ADA ( Americans with Disabilites Act) and section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973. Good luck and hope that helps you

I didn’t realize until recently that the ADA provides that children with diabetes cannot be lawfully excluded from day care. But with that said, many day cares still decline to accept diabetic kids in practice, even if it is against the law. And parents would understandably be reluctant to push the issue with a facility that is dead-set against it. Do you have a children’s hospital nearby? They may be able to assist with a recommendation. Also check childrenwithdiabetes.com to see if they have any resources or networks of providers that are willing and able to help. Another idea to save some money would be to find a local Type 1 teenager who could provide afternoon or weekend care, since they would at least know what they’re doing.

I know little kids can take to pumps really well, but I’ve never heard of starting right out with the pump. Usually they wait a year or so until the honeymoon phase is over, but that’s great that it’s working OK so far!

Hi TGVE2014,

So sorry to hear about your son, this will be a long haul for you but also rewarding.

I’ll also address the ADA on which I had some collaboration in its writing 25 years ago; you will notice in its original that T1D was the only “total and permanent” disease mentioned. The ADA requires any business or facility of public accommodation to make a reasonable attempt to provide accommodation. This applies to a daycare operation without regard to weather or not any government funds are in operation.

The really positive part of your tale is that the daycare is willing to try. Please give then a chance. If you can be there a couple of days at the beginning, try to do that and show the staff “how easy it is” - yes I’m saying that with a big smile. For carb counting, prepackage and label with total carbs individual meals for your toddler and state time of day he should eat each meal. Fingersticks for blood tests might be difficult at first until rapour is established - and hopefully the meter is linked to the pump to eliminate at one step in the dosing process - at this point, the caregiver needs only enter the carb value you provided and push a button or two.

I’m hoping parents who have gone through similar situations will respond; I was diagnosed just after close of my freshman high school year and when I returned in the fall no one in the school was aware that I had diabetes - at that time pumps were only in dreams.

Our son was diagnosed at 12 months old & is now 24 months has been using the T-slim pump for about 6 months. I will say that because he is so young that dosaging is still an issue for us but the pump is much more convenient & accurate than injections.
I actually stopped working for a year to stay home with him but I will be placing him in daycare in the next few weeks & I’m pretty nervous about it. I would say that the better understanding that you have of the entire treatment (dosage, carb counting,effects of exercise), the better you can train/inform the daycare provider. I know that’s an extremely vague response but in my personal experience, it’s been a constant learning process.
Good luck with the transition :blush: