Cast Instructions

Cast Instructions

whether your child has a traditional (dry non-waterproof) or waterproof cast, there are some things to keep in mind after the cast has been applied.

General precautions:

  • Follow the doctor's instructions exactly.
  • Do NOT insert any objects inside the cast to itch the skin under the cast, as it may cause a sore which could become infected. Use a hard object, like a spoon to tap on the cast instead, a blow dryer on cool or Benadryl also work great.
  • Do NOT pull out or re-arrange the cast liner.
  • Do NOT break off or trim cast edges.
  • Patients are not allowed to get in the ocean, rivers or lakes with casts on.
  • Do NOT try to remove the cast at home.
  • Stay out of the sand and dirt. Keep the cast clean.
  • Rough spots may be filed down with an emery board.
  • If fiberglass edges rub on skin where rough spots are, you may purchase "moleskin" to put on the edges. You may purchase it at CVS, Walgreens or Wal-Mart.

Traditional Casts (If there is an incision, Pins, or Skin Abnormality):

  • Do NOT get the cast wet.
  • Do NOT pull at cotton liner inside the cast.

Waterproof (Upper extremity only, and only if allowed by doctor and staff):

  • After the cast gets wet, it MUST be allowed to dry COMPLETELY. If the cast is not drying completely, then the patient should not be allowed to get the cast wet anymore.
  • Persistent moisture is likely to lead to skin problems.
  • NO repetitive handwashing, as this will not allow the cast to dry completely. 
  • The cast lining material may take up to 3-4 hours to dry completely.
  • Patients are allowed to Sit or Stand in a pool, but NO active swimming is allowed.
  • A blow dryer on cold setting can be used to speed the drying process.
  • If going into a pool be sure to thoroughly rinse the inside of the cast with clean water to remove chlorine, salt, dirt, or other substances. 
  • Only submerge the cast in water for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time and ALLOW IT TO DRY COMPLETELY. 
  • Do NOT actively swim or move aggressively in a pool.
  • Do NOT submerge the cast in a hot tub, river, lake or ocean. 

Please Contact Us for any of the following:

  • Persistent (more than 2-3 hours) numbness, and/or tingling.
  • Blister or sore develops inside of the cast.
  • The cast breaks, cracks develops soft-spots, or becomes too loose.
  • there are questions or concerns regarding treatment. 
  • If the cast feels "snug" you may have swelling. If so, elevate extremity ABOVE your heart to help the swelling go down. If this continues more than 2-3 days or extremities are bluish-purple, please call out office. 
  • We may bring you in to determine if your cast May or May Not need to be changed. Most insurance companies to not cover a 2nd cast unless medically indicated to you may have a fee if insurance does not cover.

"Par for the Course"

  • The cast will usually NOT be changed due to odor.
  • Itching and having a less than pleasant odor are normal for having a cast.
  • Running water down the cast(if waterproof), tapping the outside may help with itching. If the patient is able to take Benadryl, this may also help with itching. 
  • Unpleasant odors are normal but if the odor gets extremely foul, or you notice oozing from the wound, Please Call Us. 

Remember the cast HELPS the healing process. Avoid activities that might interfere with healing, and always follow the doctor's specific instructions about proper care of the cast and the injury.

We thank you for choosing Children's Orthopedic Specialists to care for your child.