18 answers

"Seeking Arm Cast Advice"

Hi! I am writing to see if any other mothers have any hints or experience with their small children wearing casts. My 5 1/2 year old son broke his wrist while horseplaying with his older brother. Anyways, he received a hard cast about a week ago and I am trying to clean his finger areas but it still stinks a little bit. Does anyone have any helpful hints in cleaning around the cast area or keeping it from smelling. Thanks!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My daughter went through 2 casts before we found this waterproof castliner material on the internet. She got the first two wet (broke wrist at beginning of summer and tried playing around the pool and at the beach with all sorts of contraptions to try to keep the cast dry ... nothing worked 100%). My ortho suggested this castliner, I bought it and it was delivered to my home in 2 days ... went to ortho the next day and she was cast into her 3rd cast with the waterproof material and we were all so happy. We only wished we had found it sooner! She was swimming in the pool, bathing, no stink, no itching and when the cast was removed ... her arm & skin looked great! Here is the link ...

http://www.castliner.com/

P.S. My ortho only recommends it for short arm casts b/c the water can drain out easier.

Great stuff!

D.,

My husband broke his ankle recently (fishing of all things!!!). We found that Glad Cling Wrap is the BEST for showers/baths. It actually clings to the cast so NO water gets on it. Just be careful not to get too much water get inside, as that's where odor comes from. Wrap the cast in the cling wrap then use alcohol soaked cotton balls to clean his fingers and the top of the cast area. Although the Dr's recommended against it, when my son broke his wrist, I found a SMALL amount of cornstarch down there works pretty well to control odor. I found it works better then baking soda for some reason. But really nothing totally prevents that smell...

Good luck,
H.

More Answers

Use cotton balls soaked with rubbing alcohol, or get a package of presoaked wipes at the drug store, for ease and when out & about. Don't let the cast get wet. Keep the cast and the internal cotton padding clean and very dry. Teach him to wipe his hands clean with baby wipes followed by the alcohol wipes instead of soap/water until the cast comes off. If it will be a long time....check with your orthopedic doc to see if you can get him switched to a waterproof, breathable mesh cast.

P.S. Do NOT put anything inside the cast to clean or itch, do NOT put baby powder inside either...this can cause build up and caking of the powder...skin breakdown and yeast to grow....causing a skin infection. Then you will all be miserable!

Baby wipes work pretty good. You could also sprinkle a little baking soda to help with the smell. No matter what you are going to have some smell just wait till they take it off STINKY!!

D.,

My husband broke his ankle recently (fishing of all things!!!). We found that Glad Cling Wrap is the BEST for showers/baths. It actually clings to the cast so NO water gets on it. Just be careful not to get too much water get inside, as that's where odor comes from. Wrap the cast in the cling wrap then use alcohol soaked cotton balls to clean his fingers and the top of the cast area. Although the Dr's recommended against it, when my son broke his wrist, I found a SMALL amount of cornstarch down there works pretty well to control odor. I found it works better then baking soda for some reason. But really nothing totally prevents that smell...

Good luck,
H.

I know it's hard to do, but sprinkle some baby powder into the cast around the fingers.It will help with the smell. Good luck.

there are homeopathics to help with healing- arnica and symphytum- (knit bone)

When my daughter broke her arm I remember that you couldn't get the cast wet so I asked for the kind you can remove and put back on. It has straps to velcro them into place. Good luck. M. R.

have you tried q-tips? or even baby wipes. try not to get the cast wet.

My daughter went through 2 casts before we found this waterproof castliner material on the internet. She got the first two wet (broke wrist at beginning of summer and tried playing around the pool and at the beach with all sorts of contraptions to try to keep the cast dry ... nothing worked 100%). My ortho suggested this castliner, I bought it and it was delivered to my home in 2 days ... went to ortho the next day and she was cast into her 3rd cast with the waterproof material and we were all so happy. We only wished we had found it sooner! She was swimming in the pool, bathing, no stink, no itching and when the cast was removed ... her arm & skin looked great! Here is the link ...

http://www.castliner.com/

P.S. My ortho only recommends it for short arm casts b/c the water can drain out easier.

Great stuff!

Hi D.,
We've had several broken bones in our household.
My advise:
*use baby wipes to clean hands
*use a hair dryer to blow cool air down into the cast - I used a doggy hair dryer that has a little more force than a regular dryer.
*don't worry about the odor too much....I think a cast has an odor, even when 1st made
*they make product to put the arm in to keep the cast dry for showers
* keep the cast as dry as you and your son can.
Best of luck to you and your 5 1/2 year old son. Linda

My son had a full arm cast for 6 weeks when he was 14mo old. He had a minor birth defect with his hand and needed to have surgery to correct it. Anyway, he was a little guy, not 5.....but maybe this will help. I kept a tube sock over it ALL the time except at night. My son was crawling and cruising at that time and also self feeding etc......so I didn't want his cast to get dirty from the floor, eating meals. So I covered it. With the sock on, it was like he had a mitten on. Your 5 year old may not be as good about keeping the sock on. Maybe you could put a sock over it, but cut a small hole so he can use his thumb.

Hope that this helps!

No personal experience as a mom, but I did break my own arm at the age of nine. Seems to me that my mom put baby powder or cornstarch in there ~ but now I am wondering if that would dry the skin out and make him more itchy. Also I can not recall what I put in there to itch it, but I do recall that I found a few pen caps when they removed the cast LOL! Good luck, but I would think that some corn starch would help. Let us know..

Get Glad Press and Seal!! (in the Saran Wrap section) Wrap it around the cast when giving a bath. This seals really well and will keep cast nice and dry.

No lotions too close to cast... The cast does not breathe, so that's why you get that stinky smell.

Call the 1-800 number on the box and they will send you free coupons!!

Best of Luck, M.

My daughter was in a spica hip cast for a period of four months starting from when she was 6 months old. The cast got smelly real quick, especially since she had many diaper "blow-outs" at that time. Like some other suggestions you've already received, we cleaned around the cast area with rubbing alcohol. We've also used Mustela no-rinse cleansing fluid (smells better than the alcohol!)on her. Just like what the name says no rinse needed when using this product. Even though it says it's for the face and diaper area, I'm sure you can use it on other parts. It seemed to help control the smell. We also wiped it frequently around her cast area. You should try to get a sample of it first to see if it would help in your situation.

you don't' mention if you've got a fiberglass or plaster cast. We found that the fiberglass could get totally wet during warm weather because it could drain out. Plaster cannot get wet at all! Either way - in this cool weather, don't let it get wet, it won't dry out and this is what makes it smell. And, you might need to give him some hygience tips on going potty without getting anything on the cast. With my kids, we always got a new cast about every 4 weeks, so that helps keep the odor down as well.

Please don't put anything into the cast, it can/will cause an infection which will make the itching and smell way worse. Do not get the cast wet in any way, that will also cause the smell to increase. Simply wipe his hands with a moist cloth or sanitary wipe. You can put baby powder on his hand to help keep it dry and smelling well. Please though, do not let him stick anything down his cast, it will get a lot worse. All casts stink, unfortunately, but it will be obvious to the doctor and his staff if other things are being forced down there.

My baby was in a cast for a fractured arm at 12 mos. Fortunately it was only 1 month and since she was not yet school-age or even walking well enough to play outside it didn't get too dirty or stinky. I think I would have tried Q-tips and alcohol to clean the reachable areas just inside the cast if I had needed to. I feel it could be more effective and give you more control than just cotton balls. That's all I can think of that might be helpful to you. I have heard that there is really no avoiding the smell, but I can definitely see that a little boy playing outside, even if he's careful, has got to be getting his hands dirty. You can try to teach him to not use that hand as much, but boys will be boys! Anyway good luck to you and him. I understand that the itching can be horrible.

I have had my share of casts growing up (I was a competitive athlete and trained really hard, so I have had all kinds of injuries! lol). And as far as I can remember, it was kind of stinky no matter what I tried :(
Wish I could be of more help - hopefully someone else here will know of a trick that I never knew of! :)

The inportant thing is to keep the cast dry clean what you must dont worry about whaat you cant if you dont like the smell breath through your mouth. It takes at least 6 weeks fora bone to heal if you cant stand the smell breath threw your mouth good luck A. from no.hills

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