Story by: Joe Hall on September 29, 2023
Our team of pediatric orthopedists specializes in treating children’s injuries, including broken bones. We want to help your child be active again, as soon as possible.
Caring for your child’s cast requires extra steps and patience. If your child has broken a bone, you’re already familiar with the stress of the initial injury and getting them the help they need. Cast care during the weeks it takes to heal an injury can be time consuming and require extra caution, on top of dealing with an unhappy child whose life has been altered for the next several weeks.
An arm cast or leg cast is made of a combination of materials. Most casts today are fiberglass on the outside — that’s the same stuff they use to make Corvettes! The inside is lined and has padding. You and your child might not be in love with dealing with their new cast, but you still want to take good care of it. Otherwise, you might keep the injury from healing, cause other injuries or require an entirely new cast.
“The inside of a cast is lined with a stocking and then padded so bony joints don’t rub against the hard fiberglass,” said Laura K. Jacks, M.D., pediatric orthopedic surgeon with Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine. “The stocking and padding can absorb water and other liquids, so they should be kept as dry as possible.”Keeping the cast dry and clean
The best way to keep the cast from getting wet is to avoid water altogether, but since you don’t want a smelly child for the foreseeable future, Dr. Jacks offers some tips:
The good news is, it’s still OK to turn your child’s cast into a work of art.
“We strongly encourage your child to have fun and decorate the cast,” Dr. Jacks said. “We would love to see the artwork when you return!”