Cast Care

When your child needs a cast, you will likely have the choice of using a waterproof padding or traditional cotton padding. You will also choose the color of the cast. With waterproof padding, the cast can be completely submerged in water and the skin underneath the cast dries very well without skin irritation. Your child can bathe, shower, and swim freely. It may take an hour or two for your skin to completely dry so it is best not to go from the bath or shower right into bed since some water may drip out of the cast.

With cotton padding the cast needs to stay dry. This can be done by placing a plastic bag over the cast and sealing the bag with tape, rubber bands, or possibly plastic wrap and holding the cast up out of the shower or bath. If the cast gets a little wet, it can be dried using a blow dryer on a cool setting. If the cast gets soaked, then it will need to be changed and you should give the office a call.

Itching can be a problem for some people who have a cast on. Taking some over-the-counter Benadryl can be help decrease itching or you can try placing some baby powder inside the cast. You should always try to avoid placing things down the cast to use for scratching. This can lead to scratches on your skin and skin irritation, which can make the cast even more uncomfortable. If the cast is very uncomfortable, you should call our office since the cast may need to be changed and we would want to look at the skin under the cast. Generally, a cast is put on when swelling should not be increasing causing the cast to be too tight. Even so, it is helpful to know the signs of too much swelling in the cast.

The first thing that occurs is that pain increases a lot and often is not helped by pain medicines. Any movement of the fingers or toes causes increased significant pain. This will happen before your fingers or toes loose their color or you get a pins and needles feeling in your fingers or toes. Again, if you have any concern you should call the office.

Sometimes the cast padding may pullout from the edges of the cast. The edge of the cast can be very rough and make the cast uncomfortable. If this happens the edge of the cast can be padded by folding small strips of tape such as black electrical tape, which is water resistant over the edge of the cast. Work around the cast until the edge is covered. Call us if you have any concerns. Occasionally, the area of a cast between the thumb and index finger will break. Do not worry, this is not problematic and does not need to be fixed unless the whole cast is falling apart. If the end of the roll of cast material starts to lift up off the cast you can trim it yourself or secure it with tape.

If you have a cast that you can walk on, please use the cast shoe when you are walking. The bottom of the cast is very slippery and the shoe provides traction. Also, the shoe protects the bottom of the cast, which will break when walking on hard surfaces. The shoe should come off for bathing, showers, or swimming with a cast with waterproof padding. Remember not to bounce on the bottom of a pool because the bottom of the cast will break.