15 answers

Helping My Son with a Broken Arm

My 12 yr old son brok his arm yesterday between the elbow and shoulder. They 'set' it today and he will be in a splint & sling for somewhere between 6 weeks and 3 mos. I am looking for any ideas on how to help him shower/bathe. His arm has been immobilized against in an L shape against his stomache. At 12, you can imagine we can't go too long without some sort of bathing & shampooing.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful ideas. We have one of the long handled back scrubber/loofah doo-dads and tried the clear plastic wrap tonite. My d.h. was in charge so the sling got wet; I am praying that the splint did not. I'll give him a couple of days to recover from the indignity and then we will try again. This time, he will be stuck with mom cuz' dad will be out of town. With he arm so close to his stomache/chest, we had a problem negotiating the garbage bag, but I'll attempt that later. Thanks again for all of your ideas, kind words, and sympathy!

Featured Answers

As an adult I was put into an "L" cast due to a damaged nerve in my shoulder, and it was a nightmare, but like the others I used a plastic bag to cover my arm, and then the mobile shower to bath. It took a little practice, but I did get it. One thing you might want to do is ask the dr's office or medical supply about a sleeve he could put on over the cast since it is close to the body, and then use the plastic as the extra protection. Good Luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Try wrapping it in cling wrap,I broke my shoulder a few yrs. back and found that was the best solution.I wish your son a speedy recovery.
D. R.

1 mom found this helpful

You could slide a garbage bag over his arm while he's in the shower to keep the brace dry. If you don't have a built in seat in the shower, you can purchase one from most drug stores. They take about three minutes to put together and cost about $70.00. This should ensure he doesn't fall while bathing with his newly limited mobility. Install a handheld shower head with a long hose. And if he can't reach his entire body, consider buying one of those loofahs on a handle (also at the drug store). And make sure his shampoo is in a squeeze bottle so that he can just pour the shampoo on his head and then lather with the same hand. I hope some of this is helpful, and I hope he has a speedy recovery. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

As an adult I was put into an "L" cast due to a damaged nerve in my shoulder, and it was a nightmare, but like the others I used a plastic bag to cover my arm, and then the mobile shower to bath. It took a little practice, but I did get it. One thing you might want to do is ask the dr's office or medical supply about a sleeve he could put on over the cast since it is close to the body, and then use the plastic as the extra protection. Good Luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

hey B.,
The best way to get clean without getting wet on the splint is to wrap the arm with a large trash bag and use duct tape to close the bag and secure it to the arm.
Hope this helps!! God bless you and yours!

1 mom found this helpful

My son broke his arm and wrist in January and has a cast that goes all the way up to his shoulder. I wrap his arm in Saran wrap and then tie a garbage bag around it. He showers or bathes with that arm hanging outside the tub. It's not a great solution but it does the job. He only does that 3 times a week the other days he washes up.

When my arm was in a cast for 3 months, I put a plastic bag around it and a rubber band of some sort to keep it on. The rubber band obviously not too tight as to cut off circulation just enough to hold it in place. I used newspaper bags or grocery bags. I would sit in the tub and lay that arm on the outside and use my other arm to wash and put my head under the faucet to wash my hair using my free arm. You could help him with the hair washing if he needed it and bathing suit if he wants privacy.

Hi B.! When my 7 yr old son broke his arm (same spot) we wrapped it in a garbage bag with pull ties and then allowed him to take a bath. My husband would go in and wash his hair real quick or he would lean over the tub and we would wash his hair that way and then he would take his bath.

Hi B.,

There are mesh sponges that have long handles on them. Bath and Body Works or maybe even Wal-Mart or the dollar store has them. They are made for you to be able to reach your back but in your son's case, he could reach anything with his good arm. Use a waterproof garbage bag that will slip over the arm. Tape it down to itself so it won't allow water in. He should be able to handle everything except maybe washing his hair alone.

I've been there with a sister and a fractured wrist. She had pins protruding that couldn't get wet. ARRRGGGG!

Hope this helped and hope he heals quickly!

Regards,

M.

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