The subject of injecting in public divides opinion – usually from people without diabetes. Although seeing someone inject in public is rare, a large number of us do inject in public.

The key is in making sure we are discreet and ensuring that we minimise any risk of danger to ourselves or others.

Whilst we are talking about insulin, the same general rules can apply to other injectable medications such as incretin mimetics (including Byetta and Victoza).

Is injecting in public a problem for others?

People on the Diabetes Forum generally state that injecting in a public place is usually not a problem and that only occasionally will it prompt a reaction in others.

It’s worth being aware that some people around you may have a phobia of needles so it’s best to be as discreet as you can, especially around people you don’t know well.

Private rooms for injections

In some cases, you may wish to request to use a private area to administer an injection. Some places may be happy to help but not everywhere will be able to.

For health and safety reasons some establishments may request that injections are done in a private area for health and safety reasons, to completely prevent any risk of anyone else getting accidentally jabbed.

Examples of such places includes:

If this does not cause too much inconvenience, it may be best to comply.

If, however, they ask you to use a toilet cubicle, this could present a health risk to you so try to arrange a better compromise.

If you have issues with injecting arrangements at a place of work or study, a member of your diabetes team may be able to offer you advice or support.

Ensure you have plenty of space and light to inject

Obviously don’t inject if it could be dangerous to you or others. Make sure you are guaranteed plenty of space to inject so you don’t risk getting knocked.

Ensure you are in a well lighted area as this will make the injection easier.

Injecting whilst travelling

It’s best to avoid injecting on a moving vehicle in case the vehicle needs to brake suddenly. Injecting on a plane may be possible but it’s wise to check with the cabin crew whether there is any possibility of turbulence. Be sure that you have ample room to carry out the injection.

The cabin crew may be able to offer you a seat with more space to carry out the injection.

Always dispose of needles appropriately

Any used needles or syringes need to be disposed of appropriately. If out in public, find a way to carry your used needles or syringes with you so you can dispose of them in a sharps collection box when you get home.

Used needles and syringes count as biological waste and should never be disposed of in general waste bins.

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