By: Barbara Bradley
Do you plan to go sledding, skiing, iceskating or snowshoeing this winter?
Is ice hockey your sport?
Is shoveling snow part of your winterworkout?
Have you been inactive for the past fewmonths?
Here are some tips for pump managementand personal safety for winter activities.
Obtain medical clearance from yourhealthcare provider for any activitiesyou plan to do. Shoveling snow can bedangerous for your heart.
Keep insertion sites secure.Use a skin-barrier preparation. If you work up a sweat during winter sports, the insertion site tape could become loose. To keep it stickingwell, try using antiperspirant spray on theskin after cleaning the area prior to catheteror needle insertion. If you are not sure theantiperspirant will work for you, try usingcompound tincture of benzoin. Apply witha cotton-tipped swab, leaving a “target”area for site insertion. You might later needto use nail polish remover to remove thetape from the skin. Or Mastisol/Detachol(Ferndale Labs) or Skin Tac/Tac-Away (TorbotGroup) can be used instead.
Pack extra supplies for site or infusion set changes, insulin and blood glucose testing.
Keep your pump and supplies warmand dry. Keep your pump and meterprotected in a pouch or pocket underyour jacket or coat and between layers ofclothing closest to your body. Keep thetubing under clothing layers and away fromany zippers that could cut the tubing.
Consider a lower basal rate.Use the temporary basal rate or use a program youhave set up for exercise days. You can burna considerable number of calories when youare active during cold weather.
Establish a buddy system. Nevergo alone if you are skiing or hiking. Haveseveral friends or buddies carry extrasupplies, including glucose gel. Be sure yourbuddy knows how to use your emergencyglucagon injection kit to treat severehypoglycemia. Also, be certain your buddyknows that insulin should never freeze.
Stay in touch. Cell phones or walkie-talkies can be useful. If hiking in remoteareas, be sure to file an itinerary with familyor friends and the local authorities.
Test, Test, Test!
Don’t forget to test your BG on a regularbasis.
To learn more about winter sports anddiabetes, contact the Diabetes, Exercise andSports Association (DESA) and the JuvenileDiabetes Research Foundation.
Have fun this winter and be safe.