If your child breaks a bone, a cast can help support and protect that bone. Without proper care, however, a cast can't really do its job.
Here are some general guidelines on how to take care of your cast.
The most important is to keep your cast clean and dry.
Do not scratch the skin under the cast by inserting objects or fingers inside the cast. This can irritate the skin or cause an infection.
You can use a hair dryer placed on a cool setting to blow air under the cast and cool down hot, itchy skin, Never blow warm or hot air into the cast to avoid thermal injury.
Prevent small toys or objects from being put inside the cast.
Avoid sand, dirt, or mulch. Loose particles can get inside the cast.
Do not put powders or lotions inside the cast.
Cover the cast while your child is eating to prevent food spills and crumbs entering the cast.
If swelling occurs, elevate the cast above heart level to decrease the swelling.
Encourage your child to move his or her fingers or toes to promote circulation.
If your child has gotten the cast wet. Please contact your doctor immediately. Wet casts can lead to complications and need immediate attention.
Other reasons to contact your doctor:
Fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
Increased swelling above or below the cast.
Complaints of numbness or tingling.
Drainage or foul odor from the cast.
Cool or cold fingers or toes.
Taking care of your child's cast is not always easy. Please remind your child that taking proper care of his or her cast will help minimize discomfort and before he or she knows it, that cast will be off.
For more information on Boys Town Orthopaedic services, please visit boystownpediatrics.org