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Spica casts, also called
body casts, are frequently used to treat children who have hip, pelvis, or leg
problems, such as
developmental dysplasia of the hips (DDH). You may be
nervous about having a child in a spica cast. It can be overwhelming to be responsible for the care and cleaning of the cast. But
caring for a spica cast is not as hard as it may at first seem. After you get
into a routine, you'll find that you can handle the daily tasks involved in
cast care. You will become more and more confident that you can keep your child
safe and comfortable while he or she is in the cast.
You can help
care for your child's spica cast by:
caring for your child's cast includes allowing it to dry properly, keeping it
clean, preventing infections and other problems, and knowing when to call the
doctor. You should also be able to position your child properly in the cast.
If your child's cast is made of
plaster, it may need time to dry after it is first put on. Your child will
likely be in a semi-sitting position and may need you to help him or her move.
Turn your child at least every 2 hours for the first 24 to 48 hours to prevent
uneven drying of the cast. You can use a fan to help the cast dry more quickly,
but don't use heat. When you tap the cast and hear a hollow sound, it is
cast, and do your best to keep it dry. But realize that the cast may get dirty
or wet now and then.
Focus on taking preventive measures and
cleaning the cast when needed.
Keep your child
safe and comfortable by using basic care techniques.
Your child needs physical contact with you, especially
while he or she is in a cast. As long as you make sure to take basic safety
measures, you can and should continue to hold, interact with, and provide
stimulating activities for your child.
Encourage your child's
involvement with your family.
Keep a constant
watch on your child and the condition of the cast. Although you should call
your doctor any time you have questions, talk to him or her right away whenever
Also call your doctor any time the cast:
November 12, 2013
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
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