Caring for your child's cast

Caring for your child's cast

By Carlo Daquigan, LPN
LPN, Swedish Pediatric Specialty Care

Kids of all generations from all walks of life have one thing in common and that is the love of play and imagination. Play structures, a couch turned to a fort, or their sworn innate ability to fly can take a sour turn. As much as we would like to wrap our little Spider Mans, Incredible Hulks and Wonder Women in bubble wrap, unfortunately life’s little incidences are inevitable.

If ever the time comes where your Super Hero suffers from an injury and needs a cast, it is time to put on your Super Parent costume.

Here are some helpful tips on cast care for the Super Parent:

  • Bathing: Absolutely no showers. We ask parents to give kids a bath instead, keeping the casted limb outside of the tub. In addition, we suggest wrapping the cast with a towel and covering with a newspaper bag or bread bag and closing it off with a rubber band at the top for added protection.
  • Itching: The golden rule of having a cast is DO NOT STICK ANYTHING IN THE CAST! Scratching an itch with an object can cause the skin to break underneath the cast, leaving room for infection. If your child has itching, tapping on the outside of the cast or using a hair dryer set on cool can help.
  • If a cast gets soaking wet or objects get stuck inside the cast, no matter how big or small (we’ve seen everything from erasers to coins, and even a small fish), bring your child in. If he/she gets any objects stuck in the cast or if a cast gets wet, it will need to be replaced ASAP.
  • Skin care: Wet wipes can be used to clean the skin around the edges of the cast and lotion can be applied. If skin irritation develops, petal the edges with moleskin.
  • Activities: Let your child know they are on medical leave from their Super Hero duties. Keep activities quiet over the next few weeks can prevent further or additional injuries while you child is in a cast.
  • Cast removal: A cast saw is used to remove casts. The blade oscillates (like a Sonicare toothbrush), which cuts through only solid materials. It is fairly loud and stimulating so bringing lots of distractions for the little ones. Stuffed animals, a security blanket, portable DVD player or iPad can help the experience.

All in all, bones will heal and they will be back to their Super Hero duties in no time.

With these tips, as a Super Parent you will be the perfect, well informed accomplice to our leading Super Heroes, who truly are Super Heroes to us in more ways than one

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