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Discharge Instructions: Caring for Your Child’s Removable Cast

Your child will be going home with a removable cast (sometimes referred to as a splint). A cast helps your child’s body heal by holding injured bones or joints in place. A damaged cast can keep the injury from healing well. Take good care of your child’s cast. If the cast becomes damaged, it may need to be replaced. Here's what you need to know about home care.

Your child has a broken ___________________ bone. This bone is located in the ____________.

Cast Care

  • Make sure your child wears the removable cast according to the health care provider's instructions.

  • Clean the removable cast with soap and lukewarm water and scrub it with a small brush.

  • Use alcohol wipes to rub the inside of the removable cast to reduce odor and bacteria.

  • Wash the Velcro straps and inner cloth sleeve (stockinet) with soapy water and air-dry.

  • Keep the removable cast away from open flames.

  • Don’t expose the removable cast to heat, space heaters, or prolonged sunlight. Excessive heat will cause the removable cast to change shape.

  • Don’t cut or tear the cast. 

Activity

  • Encourage your child to exercise all the adjacent joints not immobilized by the cast. If your child has a long leg cast, help him or her to exercise the hip joint and toes. If your child has an arm cast or splint, encourage exercise of the shoulder, elbow, thumb, and fingers.

  • Elevate the part of the body that is in the cast. This helps reduce swelling.

Follow-Up

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

When to Call Your Child's Health Care Provider

Call the health care provider right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Tingling or numbness in the affected area

  • Severe pain that cannot be relieved with medication

  • Cast that feels too tight or too loose

  • Swelling, coldness, or blue-gray color in the fingers or toes

  • Cast that is damaged, cracked, or has rough edges that hurt

  • Pressure sores or red marks that don’t go away within 1 hour after removing the splint

  • Blisters

Online Medical Reviewer: Freeborn, Donna, PhD, CNM, FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 3/8/2013
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.