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Female child with an arm cast drawing.

Cast Care for Kids

A cast helps your body heal. A damaged cast can prevent your injury from healing quickly and properly. If your cast becomes damaged, it may need to be replaced. Take good care of your cast to help it last.

 Keep your cast dry

If a plaster cast gets wet, it can soften and fall apart. If the padding of a synthetic cast gets wet, it can irritate and damage your skin. Plaster and synthetic casts must stay dry. Avoid activities that can get your cast wet. Take special care to keep your cast dry when you bathe or shower. Also take care if it’s raining or snowing outside. To keep your cast dry:

  • Wrap your cast in one or more plastic bags. Use heavy tape to secure the plastic so water won’t leak in.

  • Don’t soak your cast in water, even if it’s wrapped in plastic.

  • Cover your cast with waterproof clothing or a plastic bag if you must go out in rain or snow.

  • Be sure to take off the plastic bag when you are done with your bath or shower, or when you are out of the rain or snow.

  • If your cast does get wet, try drying it as soon as possible. To do this, use a hair dryer set to cool.

What NOT to do

If your cast is damaged, it can’t do its job. To protect your cast and your skin underneath:

  • Don’t stick things in your cast, even to scratch your skin. Objects put in your cast may get stuck. Also, your skin may be cut and become infected. If your skin itches, try blowing cool air into the cast with a hair dryer.

  • Don’t cut or tear your cast. Cover any rough edges of the cast with cloth tape. (You can buy this at a pharmacy.) Never try to remove your cast yourself.

  • Don’t pick at the padding of your cast. Padding protects your skin and must be kept intact.

Tell an adult to call your doctor if:

  • Your injured body part tingles or feels numb.

  • You have extreme pain that can’t be managed.

  • Your cast feels too tight or too loose.

  • Your fingers or toes swell, feel very cold, or turn blue or gray.

  • Your cast is damaged, cracked, or has rough edges that hurt.

  • Your cast gets wet or soggy.


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