Is your child on the plaster cast? – Cast care at home is essential

The plaster cast is given to your child to treat an injury or after surgery to provide rest to the limb. Therefore the role of a plaster cast is to keep the arm/leg in a certain position and to protect the operated area while it heals. The most important and essential part of orthopaedic home management is cast care.

Cast care

Cast usually dries completely in 48 hours. Allow the cast to dry naturally.

Keep the plaster cast dry and clean at all times

Carefully check the cast, it should not be tight. Ideally, there should be a gap between the cast and skin.

Don’t bump or hit the cast

The cast can be decorated with a marker; however, do not paint the cast. This will close the pores of the plaster.

Check your child’s skin condition at the plaster edges every day. Look for skin irritation, rashes or ulcers.

Usually, children complain of itching under the plaster cast. Use a hairdryer on a cool setting at the opening of the cast.

Don’t put anything between the cast and skin as this can irritate the skin and cause an infection.

Around the cast, don’t use powder, lotions, or oils under or around the cast.

Elevate the limb above the heart level. It will reduce the swelling.

Encourage the child to keep moving the finger or toes while in plaster cast so that blood flow will be good.

Never immerse the plaster cast in water. Seal the cast in a water-proof plastic bag with tape, while showering or bathing.

See your doctor

When a child is having severe pain

When the skin may look pale or bluish in colour

When fingers or toes are cool or hot to touch

When a child says, they have pins and needles or numbness

When the child is not able to move the fingers or toes

When you notice any problem such as cast is broken or bad smell is coming from the cast

Key points to remember

Keep the plaster cast clean and dry.

Elevate the limb above the heart level.

Encourage the child to move the finger and toes.

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