Fractures are common in children as they run, play, and jump around the house, school, or outdoors. The first line of treatment for pediatric fractures is to put a cast. It provides the necessary support and protection to the broken bone as it heals.
However, the best Melbourne orthopaedic surgeon suggests that the cast alone can do no wonders. It is crucial to take proper care of the cast to ensure speedy and assured recovery of your child. Here are some ways you can keep the cast in good shape and accelerate recovery.
Know the Type of Cast
Your doctor custom-made a plastic that can fit the area of the broken bone precisely. A perfect fit of the cast is quintessential for a cast to deliver the support is supposed to. There are two types of casts used in orthopedics.
A plaster cast is a more affordable option and is more commonly used. It is more suitable to mold in certain cases.
These casts are durable, lightweight, and x-ray penetrable which is why these are preferred for children. Your doctor can examine the child’s bone while the cast is still on.
Measures to Reduce Swelling
Swelling is a common issue and often makes the cast tight and uncomfortable for your child. Use the following measures to reduce swelling.
Keep the cast raised above the level of the heart by placing it on a pillow for the first 24 to 72 hours. You can ask your kid to recline if the cast is on the leg or even otherwise.
You can also wrap a loose ice pack around the cast over the injured area. Make sure the pack is loose and covers the cast uniformly for effective results.
Encourage the child to keep the toes and fingers of the injured limb in motion. This boosts blood circulation and reduces swelling.
Battle the Urge to Scratch
Itching on the skin under the cast is normal but can make your child restless. Do not let your child stick objects such as rulers into the cast. You can use a hairdryer on the cool mode to soothe the skin under the cast.
Keep the Cast Dry
Only fiberglass casts are available in the waterproof variant. However, these can be used to treat only a few types of breaks. More frequently casts that are not waterproof are used to support a broken bone. For that reason, you should always keep them dry.
You can place plastic wraps and seal them with duct tapes or rubber bands while bathing and completely avoid activities like swimming.
Additional Care Tips
You can also take some additional steps to keep the cast on your little one’s hand or leg in good shape.
Keep it clean: Try not to allow your child to play in the sand and keep the dirt away from the cast.
Avoid using toiletries: Skip using lotions, powders, or deodorants on or around the cast.
Do not self-adjust: Consult your doctor for any kind of adjustment. Avoid pulling or trimming the rough edges yourself.