Cast care QUESTIONS
*For the first 48-72 hours after casting or surgery, your child’s arm or leg should remain elevated with the extremity higher than the heart, to help prevent swelling. In addition, it is important that you check the extremity and the condition of the cast daily and throughout the casting weeks. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, do not hesitate to call our office.
MY CHILD HAS A CAST - WHAT ACTIVITIES CAN HE/SHE PARTICIPATE IN?
Your child may not participate in organized sports or physical education. In addition, he or she is limited to ground level play only, and no bikes, rollerblades, skateboards, playscapes, trampolines, wheeled or ball toys, etc.
MY CHILD IS VERY UNCOMFORTABLE IN THE CAST; SHOULD I BRING HIM/HER IN?
Casts are never fun and your child may have some mild discomfort. If, however, your child experiences numbness or tingling, increased pain (that is not relieved with
elevation of the extremity or pain medicine), you should call your doctor.
Additionally, if you notice that the extremity is turning blue, pale or cold, or red, puffy or hot, or if you notice any drainage or a foul odor, then you should call our office.
THE CAST FEELS LOOSE/TIGHT - SHOULD WE COME IN?
If the cast slips or moves loosely up and down the extremity, or if the cast feels too tight to have normal feeling or sensation in the extremity, please call our office.
THE CAST GOT WET - DO WE NEED TO GET A NEW ONE?
Non-waterproof casts should be kept as clean and dry as possible. A wet cast may soften and crack. If the cast does get wet, a hair dryer on a cool setting can be used to dry the edges of the cast. If the cast gets soaked or submerged under water then it will need to be removed and replaced as soon as possible.
You may bathe your child in a shallow bath with the cast covered with a plastic bag and kept out of the tub. The plastic bag will protect against splashing, but will not help if the cast is submerged.
MY CHILD HAS A WATERPROOF CAST - HOW DO WE CARE FOR IT?
Your child may bathe or shower using a shower gel or liquid body wash that rinses easily (such as liquid Dial, Neutrogena, Johnson & Johnson Bath Wash, or any clear liquid soap). If the cast is damp, you may dry with a hair dryer on the cool setting. Do not insert a towel into the cast or use heat to dry it.
MY CHILD IS COMPLAINING OF ITCHINESS UNDER THE CAST - IS THIS NORMAL?
Many children complain of itching under the cast. To help with this, you can rub the skin around the cast edges with your fingertips (no nails) or you can rub the opposite arm/leg. Tapping the cast or sitting the child in front of a fan can help as well. (For waterproof casts you can run cool water through the cast).
DO NOT put anything inside the cast to scratch the area and do not put lotions, oils, and powders in or near your cast. This can lead to skin breakdown and infection.
MY CHILD HAS JUST HAD A CAST REMOVED - WHEN CAN HE/SHE BATHE?
Your child may bathe right away, but his/her skin may be sensitive, so take your time. It will take some time for the skin to appear and feel “normal” again.
HOW LONG WILL MY CHILD EXPERIENCE PAIN/DISCOMFORT AFTER THE CAST IS REMOVED?
Pain or discomfort may occur for a few days after the cast is removed. Some over-the-counter Ibuprofen taken with food may help this. Pain is usually a result of stiffness from being immobilized. Many children also experience discomfort in the form of itchiness. It is important NOT to scratch once the cast has been removed, your fingernails can break or irritate the skin. If the pain or discomfort continues beyond this, please call our office.
HOW LONG AFTER THE CAST IS REMOVED CAN MY CHILD RETURN TO ACTIVITIES?
Most children may resume their normal activities two weeks after the cast is removed.
DOES MY CHILD NEED PHYSICAL THERAPY?
Most children do not require physical therapy after a routine fracture; however, some may need PT if they are going to be resuming aggressive sports quickly. Additionally, some children may need PT briefly to work out stiffness and regain strength after being in a cast.
HAVE A QUESTION WE DIDN'T COVER?
FEEL FREE TO CALL OUR OFFICE AT (512)478-8116!