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Girl with Cast

Kids and Casts

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For kids, after the initial pain and shock wears off of a broken bone, casts can be fun and cool.

When are casts needed?

First, let’s talk about the difference between a fracture and a broken bone. The answer is- they are the same thing! Any force that can break a bone can fracture it. So you need something to protect that break until it can heal. The best thing is a cast.

What is a cast?

A cast is hard object made of a material called fiberglass. It is applied to the body part that has the broken bone. They protect the bone until it can completely heal. Casts also help hold bones in the right position and provide comfort through immobilization.

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Where are casts used?

Casts can be applied to hands, wrists, arms and legs. You cannot get casts on collar bones, shoulders, hips, fingers, toes or some parts of the thigh bone.

What are the different types of casts?

There are different names of casts, and some are quite funny, like a Munster cast, an ulna gutter cast and PTB cast. Each is designed to protect a certain kind of fracture (broken bone). The type of cast you get depends on what part of the body has broken.

Casts come in many colors, and some doctors let you be pretty creative with them, such as holiday casts for Mardi Gras, Halloween and Christmas.

Are they waterproof?

There are some water resistant casts available, but no cast is truly waterproof. It all comes down to how to care for it. Most of the water resistant casts have to be dripped dry and are not covered by insurance. There is usually an upcharge for a water resistant cast.

Are there any problems that arise with casts?

Casts can be hot and itchy. They cannot get wet because they can cause a rash. You should not put anything in the cast to itch it because when something is touching your skin all the time, you cannot tell if you are itching the spot or tearing at your skin.

How long do they need to be worn?

Children heal faster than adults, so they usually are in a cast less than 6 weeks. There are exceptions, but typically kids can expect to be in a cast for about 4 weeks.

How are casts taken off?

Casts are removed by a scary looking thing called a cast saw. It looks like it can cut you, but it cannot. It can only cut the cast. Most children say it tickles to cut the cast off.


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