Getting dexcom numbers on my kid's wrist--if and how

I’d like to enable my almost 14 year old eighth grade son to act on his dexcom numbers more promptly. Currently, his dexcom is paired to an iPod touch which he carries in his string backpack (also known as his :turtle: shell) everywhere. Due to the wierdness of middle school fashions, he doesn’t usually have pockets, and even with pockets it would require pulling out the iPod to look…which he commendably doesn’t want to do when he is supposed to be attentive to his teacher etc. Also, if he sets alarms within tight bounds (like 80 and 150) they’re going to go off relatively frequently in class which is embarrassing for him. We’ve not gotten him a phone due to overall family commitment to remaining untethered to tech. Parental phones are Android.

At home, we tend to give him a heads up when he is trending low or high due to our follow app being on and no problem with alarms ringing. The idea of an apple watch is appealing because it would be right there on his wrist and he could glance at it discreetly. But it would require outfitting him with some form of iPhone and paying for service,because as far as I can find out, you can’t put the apple watch app on itouch or iPad.

Questions for those who may use (or have their teenagers using) apple watch for this purpose:

(1) do you feel that getting your Dexcom data on a wearable changes your ability to pre-emptive lows or highs, and/or makes you more socially comfortable?
(2) any tech advice for use of the apple watch (or other similar ideas I’m not aware of) without opening my kid up to constant obsessive engagement with his own wrist for non-D internet use?

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If the concern with the iPhone is just to stay un-wired to apps and internet distractions, one possible simple solution would be to have him carry the iPhone in his backpack but have it locked so he can’t get into it. Only you know the password. The phone acts as a transmitter of his Dexcom data, both to his watch and to your phones via share.

So I think this gives you everything you would need - Dexcom data on his watch, Dexcom share, and no internet/iphone/social media/type of distractions.

Is that what you are asking?

I know there has been talk of making the apple watches getting dex data directly. I do not know of the current status of that or it it still allows you to share. Others here have discussed that extensively. I defer that to some of the experts in that area of tech.

As far as this question -

Yes, that would probably help him a bunch! Quick looks at BG with no social awkwardness. Absolutely a great thing for him.

My daughter wears an Apple Watch for that reason. Pulling out a phone during class is frowned upon. For most kids (in this school), the phone would be confiscated and the principle would hold it until the parents come down to pick it up. Certainly we could get an exception. But my child is not likely to want to be the only one pulling out a phone in class. Not even close. lol.
So being able to just flick the wrist and see the BG is a really big deal IMHO.

However in terms of the alarms, I am trying to remember if she said she still has to use the phone to silence the alarm? That part might not be quite as slick. Currently. As @Eric says, the ability to go direct from the Dexcom G5 Transmitter to the Apple Watch is still in progress. I believe it requires a new piece of software from Dexcom and I believe that software needs an FDA approval so it may not be super fast in being released.

There are other threads (on this forum) regarding other solutions to go direct to a watch. These would be 3rd party solutions not available or supported by Dexcom but certainly viable approaches if that would be comfortable for you. I think all the other solutions use a form of Android Watch - I don’t recall any using the Apple Watch. I think in general, 3rd party solutions for Apple products are much more difficult due to the barriers that Apple intentionally puts in the way. Those barriers are both good and bad.

Good Luck on avoiding the obsessive engagement with electronics. If you find the answer, please share. Although it may be too late for me…

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This question seems to be one that needs to be answered. Anyone know? I’ve seen a few people here post on the apple watch, can’t remember whose wheelhouse that subject is in. @Chris? @Bradford? @ClaudnDaye

Quick reply:

My partner got an Apple Watch a month ago, the one with cellular capabilities just in case Dexcom will eventually be able to go straight to the watch.

In one month of data, the two weeks with the watch were much, much better than the two weeks without it. His endo was really impressed and pointed it out herself. Asked him what changed. The watch.

Wish we’d done it years ago.

Eric is 38, the least embarrassed person I’ve ever met, but doesn’t like to disrupt his work meetings to whip out his phone (or he’s talking ON his phone.) The watch is better.

I checked with my daugher and the Dexcom G5 alerts and alarms do NOT go to the Apple Watch.

Nor can the alert/alarm be cancelled from the watch. (Likely obvious from the first statement but I had to ask her anyway as the first statement sounded crazy.)


If we missed how to do this and anybody knows how to see an alert/alarm on the Apple Watch as well as how to cancel said alert/alarm, we would LOVE to hear. Note - this is just using the standard Dexcom G5 Mobile App for iOS.

I like Dexcom and they make great stuff. But not having the alerts/alarms go to the watch makes zero sense. I don’t understand their thinking at all on this one.

@katiereeder - You can put the phone in “silent” but urgent lows still need to be attended to on the iPhone or it will alert forever - even after the bg goes back up.

The other alerts - you can dismiss the alerts on the watch, but they won’t be cleared on the phone… but at least they won’t disturb anyone.

You can remove the iMessage, email, and other apps from the watch. That is done on the iPhone.

You can also go to the general settings on the iPhone and turn on restrictions with a different passcode than your child uses to unlock the phone. You can turn off downloading apps, the web browser, limit the volume, and about anything else you might want to disable. The only thing you can’t restrict is text messages (iMessage).

You can restrict him to only the Dexcom app on the iPhone with Guided Access, which will prevent exiting the app.

Also, be aware that the watch sometimes lags the reading in the phone app a bit, because Dexcom hasn’t updated their app to refresh in the background. It will update when the watch is displaying the app (actively - when he is looking at it), but it can take a few seconds.

And the G6 was approved on 3/27/18, so I would wait and see if it has the software update to send directly to the watch You will still need an iPhone with it though.

My son uses the apple watch for school and it is a godsend. He checks his bg much more often when it is on his wrist. In fact his control on school days is much better than the weekends because he doesn’t wear his watch. Now I am not going to make him wear a watch on the weekends, but it is really amazing how much better his control is when he has ready access to the data.


Chris, does he bolus for lunch while at school right from the Dex / Watch or does he still use a meter? Or only a meter if he doesn’t think the number is accurate?

Most of the time he will pre-bolus in class for lunch based on the Dex, but there are times when it doesn’t seem right that he confirms with a stick. I would say that more 90% of the time he just goes by the Dex now while at school.

Our biggest use of sticks is during baseball games, where he sticks at least every other inning.