36 answers

Keeping Casts Dry in the Shower??

Hi Moms, My 10 yr old daughter is having surgery Friday and will be in a cast for 8 weeks. I have heard that there are a few ways to keep the cast dry for showering. Her cast is going to be on her foot and ankle - so it will have to be "in" the shower unlike an arm that she could hold out somewhat. Thanks for your help!!

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Featured Answers

Glad Wrap the kind that sticks to anything "press & seal" .. I have read somewhere on this board that it works.

my son broke his arm in the begining of the summer two years ago and we bought a aqua sock on line it seals the cast from any water he went in a pool with his cast it vacummed seals the cast and saved or summer good luck mother of 13 11 8 and 17mths K. d

Foot can be hard... I like the press'n seal wrap... you can create a really good seal. Good luck.
P.

More Answers

My daughter broke her ankle last year, so I have a little experience in keeping the cast dry. First of all - I know she won't like it - but I would HIGHLY recommend she take a bath instead of a shower - and keep her leg draped over the tub. Next - it would be helpful, not just for the tub, for you to get the plastic bags that they sell that are meant for keeping the cast dry. They are not available everywhere - we got ours at a supply store in North Andover/Andover. Right now the name escapes me, but it is off Rte. 495 on Rte 28 South - it is just on the left, pretty soon after you get off the highway (tucked back in a little). There are all styles of these bags - some pretend you can even go swimming, but for us the only ones that fit were just regular "baggies"-type bags that were shaped like a boot. They are expensive, so we only bought four of them. When she took a tub, we put one on, got it all secured, then put the next one on to doubly secure it - and good thing, because the outer one always let a little bit of water in, but the inner one always kept the cast wet. The reason we bought 4 was because eventually, they'll tell her she can walk on the cast - THEN it is really tough to keep it dry when it is raining. So we had one set of bags (doubled up) to go to school in, then a dry set of bags (doubled up) for her to put on to come home in. We also bought an extra cast boot. She had one boot to be outside and have wet. This particular one had a closed toe. Once she got inside, she'd take off the wet boot, the plastic bags, and put on the dry boot (which was the one she got for "free" when she got her cast - which was open toed). Also, wish I had known this too - once my daughter started walking - she was really aggressive - she was even running - she started complaining that the inside of the cast was hurting. When I called, they said it was probably just a little loose because the swelling had gone down. I wish I had pushed the issue - because when they did take the cast off, it turned out she had totally worn away all the padding, and she was just walking on the bare cast and it was rubbing her heel practically raw. I don't know how she tolerated it. She clearly needed to get a new cast earlier, but they acted like her pain was normal. However, the girl who took off the cast said she'd never seen a cast worn out like that. So if your daughter gets very active toward the end, listen to her if she complains. Another thing you might want to buy is some REALLY big men's socks to fit over the end to keep her toes warm. The cold weather is coming, and if she's outside, her exposed toes will be freezing. We found the only thing that would fit over the cast were GIANT sized men's socks. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Foot can be hard... I like the press'n seal wrap... you can create a really good seal. Good luck.
P.

J.-
I am in sports medicine and I get that question alot.
If you have a bathtub, I would suggest baths for now. Showers can be difficult. If you just have a stand up shower, you can put a trash bag overr her leg then use packing tape to seal it around her leg. I know it sounds crude, but it works. Also try to have her with her leg out of the shower that will help as well. Get a plastic stool that she can sit on in the shower so she does not fall, then have her stick her leg out of the shower balaced on another stool (or trash can... anything will work),I know it sounds silly, but she will appriciate it, and it works.
Good Luck

E.

Hello,
My son broke his thumb at 2 years of age and was put in a full arm cast. I found Press & Seal Wrap worked great it's like plastic wrap for food but has a bit of tackiness to it you can find in in with the tin foils and baggies. It adheres to the cast and skin but isn't painful to remove. I would wrap the cast and skin about 2 inches past the cast with it then put his whole arm in a trash bag then duct tape the opening shut around the top of the cast. I also used the Wrap when he did art & crafts and played with things that might be too dirty or wet. Good Luck!

my son broke his arm in the begining of the summer two years ago and we bought a aqua sock on line it seals the cast from any water he went in a pool with his cast it vacummed seals the cast and saved or summer good luck mother of 13 11 8 and 17mths K. d

Buy this cast cover :www.castcoverultra.com . Works perfect!

When my son broke his leg he had a cast up to his hip and we put him in the bath tub with his leg sticking out. It wasnt easy but that was the only way we could do it. He was 6 when he broke his leg.

my oldest broke her arm at 2! it was awful, we used grocery bags etc. then, after her cast was removed I came across this giant condom looking thing that is made especially for keeping cast dry, you may find it in a pharmacy but you may also try a medical supply store, good luck!

My son has a broken wrist and has been in a cast for about two months. I bought from our local drugstore a cast protector. It has a tight rubber opening and has worked perfectly well.

Hi. Bread bags work well with and elastic band on the top. Works well for arms too.

ask your doctor to use a waterproof cast. or you can buy bags at the pharmacy specifically for leg or arm casts. I used rubberbands around the top of the bag for my kids because neither one liked to rip off the tape after.

Hello,
Ask for a waterproof cast. These are fully submersible. My daughter is seven and broke her arm during the summer last year. My concern was that she would miss out on swimming, I asked the doctor and he said not a problem. Our insurance covered a regular cast, but not the water proof so we had to pay for the additional materials, which were only $15.00.
Good luck!
M.

Use plastic bags and lots of duct tape! It worked great when I had foot surgery the first time. But for some reason the bag and my foot got wet the 2nd surgery on my other foot.
Not sure what happend, so you just need to make sure the duct tape is tight and on good as well as no holes in the bag(s).
Also try and have her keep her leg out of the water as much as possible.

As much as I prefer showers myself, I can't recall my brother taking a shower for almost a year (broke his leg and 10 days after he was out of the cast he broke his ankle) when he was in a cast. I remember my mom doing baths with his leg wrapped in a large garbage bag and taped at both ends. She also kept it elevated on the side of the tub. He was a little younger than your daughter when he went through that and it's the only thing I can think of. Good Luck to you both!

When I broke my leg and ankle a few years ago the cast went all the way up to my hip for the first 4 weeks then my second and third casts were just above the knee down to my toes. With the cast all the way to my hip, bathing and showering were not an option. I had my friends or family help me wash my hair (I was in college at the time). I would do a sponge bath for the rest of my body. Once the cast was lower I began doing baths. I would wrap the cast in a plastic bag and hop in the tub. It was still difficult to keep it dry and keep myself above water while washing my hair (i'm a tiny woman!), but it kept me clean.

Keep in mind she may not want to bathe the first few days, even a week after surgery. (I've had many broken bones & surgeries over the years, and can say from experience that you don't always care what you look like or smell like after surgery).

Hope it goes well!!

if you go to a medical supply store they have leg sleeves for casts. I am a CNA and us them often.

Hi J.,

When I had surgery on each of my feet, I had to wrap a garbage bag around and put tape (I think we used waterproof medical tape) around the top to seal it off each time I showered. It was a pain! If you don't get the tape completely sealing off the opening around the top of the bag, it will leak :( One way I used to work around this was to "hang" my leg up on the side of the tub and take a bath, or just sit down in the shower. At any rate it is a real hassle.

I have seen posters in the hospital advertising special waterproof bags which wrap around the cast to keep it dry. When I Googled "medical device waterproof cast shower bag", the "Dry Pro Waterproof Cast Protector and Shower Bag" for "only $33.95 to $36.95" (+ S&H, of course) claims to be protective enough to allow swimming. Here's the website I saw if you want to take a look: http://www.drnelsonclinic.com/shower_bag.htm I think it's worth a shot, anyway; the aggravation you will save from not having to wrap a garbage bag w/tape for eight weeks will be worth the $40.

Good Luck!

--M.

Hi, Where I work we tell patients to put a garbage bag over the cast and tape the top of it. For extra insurance I tell them to use two. I have gotten some feedback from previous patients who love to use the glad brand (not sure what brand makes it)? Press and Seal saran wrap. I guess it works wonders. You just wrap it around and there are no leaks. There is also a product, a cast cover designed for showers sold at drug stores. I have gotten negative feedback from patients saying that it doesn't fit properly and leaks.
Good luck to you and your daughter. Write down your questions and ask the doctor and nurses. They may have some better suggestions.

I have heard that they make waterproof casts now and they cost just slightly more than a regular cast. From what I've heard, they are definitely worth it. I would suggest inquiring with your daughter's doctor about it. Good luck!

I would get one of those shower seats or benches that she could sit on and prop the casted foot up on the side of the tub. Also, wrap a plastic garbage bag around the foot and secure it with some tape, just to be safe. I had minor surgery on my toe while I was pregnant (and not so good with balancing on one foot!) and that's what I did. You can find the bench/seat at a medical supply store, some of them even rent them short term. (My parents still had my grandmother's from when she lived with us, so I just used that one.)

Hi J., my mom just had surgery on her ankle twice. What she did was had a chair in the shower and either kept her foot out of the tub or put a trash bag on her foot and wrapped it with duck tape, I think. LOL I know sounds funny, but it worked for her. Hope this helps...

I broke my leg almost 2 years ago and know what a pain it is trying to shower with a cast. I would say take a bath instead because I could not find a sure way to keep it dry. If your tub is facing the right way as mine was, I just put my leg in a plastic bag and secured the top with a rubber band, and slung it over the side of the tub and took a bath instead of a shower. If your tub is open only on one side and not the side that your daughter's cast is on, I would say put the foot in a plastic bag, I used a garbage bag and tape the top closed. Although,I think that it is also safer to take a bath if you can instead of standing in the shower with your leg in a cast that is covered with slippery plastic. I hope this helps.

HI My 4 year old daughter broke her foot this summer and we put a bag over her cast(also on her foot and ankle) and taped it to her leg. The we put a stool in the shower so she could sit and have her leg dangle out of the water over the side of the tub. I have also heard the press and seal works but did not try it. Good Luck!

I highly recommend a cast cover. They are available at medical supply stores and may be available from your surgeon directly. IT is basically a tight fitting bathing cap for your cast instead of your head. It will be important to be sure she can balance okay and not slip in the tub too! Good luck.

I need an answer myself except I want to keep my foot dry while I go swimming!

My 14yr dd had surgery last August for ankle surgery and i have to tell you the shower was out of the question for a few weeks...we learned how to do sponge baths..My dd was quite ill from the anesthesia and did not move for about 3 weeks unless their was a babyroom break..but that was our situation

YOu can use plastic bags and we tryed ducktape to keep the water out/or cloth tape..but my dd got use to having her hair watched in the sink and we got special liquid soap for all those sponge baths ooooooooy it will be a lot of work

good luck to you and your daughter

When my son broke his wrist 5 years ago I ran into the same issue. The doctor put a cast on his wrist that is made of a material that allows showering ect. It is made of a material that wicks the moisture away from the skin. My insurance wouldn't cover it (probably since this type of cast was relatively new at the time) and it cost me about $80 out-of-pocket. The cool thing about this cast is that is comes in a rainbow of colors that your child can pick from. I can't remember what this type of cast is called but you might want to ask you doctor about it.

Check out this web site. We purchases one for a leg cast that our daughter had and it worked great. They sell them for arm / leg casts. Good luck.

http://xerosox.com/products.html

Ask for a gortex waterproof cast. It is gortex bubble wrap inside and traditional fiberglass outside. My son is 2 and has a broken fibula and is in a full leg cast. The waterproof cast is the best invention ever! If your ortho doesn't offer that option there are air tight "sleeves" you can order on-line.

J.,

My son just got out of an arm cast this week. He was in it for 8 weeks and we had a cast guard that we used for the tub (and pool...although his arm was never fully submerged). I have added a link for you to a site that offer these guards. It is not the one we used (we had a hand me down that was purchased in Europe.)

http://www.americarx.com/Products/4112.html

Good luck!! I know this can be a scary time!!

H. Z. (SAHM 5, almost 4, and 15 month old boys)

J.,

I'm a Physical Therapist and have seen A LOT of people in casts. Trash bags and wide tape work best. Also put a plastic patio chair in the shower to sit on (don't bother investing in an expensive tub seat for such a temporary situation). Trying to stand on one leg is too precarious especially if she is not allowed to bear weight. I wouldn't recommend a "water proof" cast because even if the fiberglass doesn't degrade when it gets wet, any moisture that gets between the cast and your daughter's skin will be an issue. Best of luck to her and wishes for a speedy recovery.

S.

Hi J., I heard that Press N Seal is awesome to cover casts no matter where they are. Just wrap and press and it should keep the water out! Good luck.

Our family has used those large black plastic trash bags, and then with the tape- masking or the package tape, wrapped it up tight, so it won't leak. It is important to not let water into the cast (wet casts smell, and break down). Some of the drug stores also have plastic wraps for casts- I know we had one for my son's arm, don't know about for the leg, but assume so. We have also put a plastic chair in the tub/ shower to help if standing is a problem.
Good luck.

My niece was in a cast for a while and they have these bags that go over the cast to protect from water. I don't remember what they are called or where to get them but I know they have them.

Wrap a trash bag over it and put an elastic band to secure it so water does not get in.

Good Luck!

Glad Wrap the kind that sticks to anything "press & seal" .. I have read somewhere on this board that it works.

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