Helping Your Child Cope with a Cast

Sports injuries and everyday accidents can easily lead to broken bones. An emergency pediatrician will likely apply a cast to your child's broken limb to keep the bones in place as they heal. Wearing a cast can be frustrating for your child, but it's important that he or she takes good care of it. In particular, the pediatrician will advise your child to avoid pulling at the padding or the cast, and avoid sticking any objects underneath the cast.

Apply ice and encourage elevation.

For the first two to three days, you can wrap a leak-proof ice pack in a towel and place it on your child's cast. Leave it in place for about 20 minutes at a time, and apply it every couple of hours. Position pillows so that your child can rest with the affected body part elevated above the level of the heart. Elevation and ice will help reduce the swelling, which will help your child feel more comfortable.

Manage your child's itching.

Casts can be quite itchy, but it's important that your child does not scratch under the cast, either with fingernails or other objects. Scratching can break the skin, which can lead to an infection. If your child is having a hard time dealing with itching, you can aim a hair dryer at the skin. Be sure to adjust it to the coolest possible setting.

Eliminate tripping hazards from the home.

If your child has a cast on the lower body, the emergency pediatrician will provide appropriately sized crutches. Help your child stay safe by picking up all potential tripping hazards around the home. These hazards include loose area rugs, electrical cords, and clutter.

Watch out for potential complications.

The emergency pediatrician will let you know what potential problems to watch out for. These can include infections and compartment syndrome. Call the doctor or go to the urgent care clinic if your child complains of numbness, tingling, or worsening pain. An infection may be indicated by an unpleasant odor and unusual drainage.

Injuries like broken bones don't always occur when your pediatrician is in the office. That's why Pediatrics After Hours is available to provide compassionate urgent care for kids in the DFW area. Call (214) 363-7242 to find a pediatric urgent care location closest to your family.

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