Statement on Medical Appliances

By on November 21, 2014

National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC)

Although still relatively rare, the use of insulin pumps by athletes with diabetes has become more commonplace over the past few years. With the wider use of insulin pumps, as well as other medical devices such as heart monitoring equipment, concerns have been raised regarding the safety of the athlete wearing the device, teammates, opponents, and the device itself. The NFHS SMAC has discussed these issues and come to the following conclusion:

When it is necessary for an athlete to wear a medical appliance (such as an insulin pump) during athletic competitions, the device shall be padded and securely attached to the player’s body underneath the uniform. Devices attached to the head (such as hearing aids and cochlear implants) do not need to be padded, but shall be firmly secured to the body. No medical appliance should pose a risk of injury to others. It is recommended that the athlete notify the official of the presence of the medical appliance prior to a contest.

Reviewed and Approved in October 2012
October 2009

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The NFHS regularly distributes position statements and guidelines to promote public awareness of certain health and safety-related issues. Such information is neither exhaustive nor necessarily applicable to all circumstances or individuals, and is no substitute for consultation with appropriate health-care professionals. Statutes, codes or environmental conditions may be relevant. NFHS position statements or guidelines should be considered in conjunction with other pertinent materials when taking action or planning care. The NFHS reserves the right to rescind or modify any such document at any time.