By no means am I an expert on little ones and casts. Max only had is on for 10 days. But, in that short time we did learn a few things to make his (and our) experience a little easier.
- With an arm cast, we immediately noticed that his under arm was getting roughed up by part of the cast. So we added a wrist size sweat band around the top to create a protective barrier. It worked great! As time went by we also saw that the white padding had shrunk down and the hard cast was rubbing on one of his fingers. We fashioned a moleskin barrier there to protect his finger from getting cut up. With little ones it’s super important to really assess the cast every day so you can catch these things and protect them from further injury.
- A bulky cast makes some clothing more difficult. This is one of the reasons that pushed me to do his surgery in a warmer month. Thanks to a comfortably warm August, Max spent most of his cast days topless or in a sleeveless shirt. Tops in the next size up worked great too. Either way, think through adaptable clothing if you’re able to pre-plan.
- Our poor coffee table took quite the beating from Max’s cast because he would drag his arm across it for balance while learning to walk. I learned from a friend that a men’s tube sock works as a great, protective addition. It also helps soften the blow when mama or sister unexpectedly get whacked by brother’s arm!
- Two words – pain meds. In our case, the cast was a protective measure after Max’s thumb surgery. But even with a broken bone, I’d assume this would apply. If the doctor gives you a prescription for pain medication or itching (we got both) – use the prescription as often as directed. With kids it is way easier to stay on top pain rather than trying to catch up with it. Especially when they can’t fully communicate how they’re feeling. Usually I’m an all natural, hold off on drugs kind of mama, but in the case of surgery/related cast injuries I totally feel like drugs fall into the “it’s the right time/place” scenario.
- Casts are annoying. No one thinks they’re fun. I’m especially raising my hand on that statement! After the pain was gone I noticed Max was still antsy and just not himself. He was annoyed and put out at the circumstances :( We added some extra outings and fun adventures during his cast days to provide some distraction. It worked fabulously!
Has your toddler had a cast on before? If so, what are your survival tips?
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My son had a leg cast put on for a couple weeks following a foot surgery. He hated the walking boot so around the house I put one of my slipper socks with the grippers on the bottom… It kept him from scratching his other leg on the rough cast and let him walk on slippery floors.
Today my just barely turned two year old son got thumb surgery for the second time, (thumb hypo plasia) and everything went wonderfully but the first time we didn’t know what to do so I thank you for putting these tips out there! ( especially the tube sock one)
I think the biggest thing was keeping it clean during meals. I would wrap it in little blankets or put the sling on but it would get so dirty. So this time I will definitely try the sock.
What kind of activities can you do with a two year old with a cast and can’t walk independently??