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Three Year Old Son in a Leg Cast

My three year old son just got a cast on his leg. Although it is a walking cast, the doctor told me that he can not bathe, swim, go on any play structures or in any sand. Unfortunately he goes to pre-school and half of their morning is spent on the playground (where there is sand). Does anyone have any experience in dealing with a little one in a leg cast? Did you find a way to allow them to continue pre-school and playground time? And how did you bathe them? I cancelled his swimming lessons but I know he would be so disappointed if he cannot return to school for the remainder of the school year! Thanks so much for any advice you can offer.

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My daughter had both of her legs in walking casts to fix an achilles problem. It was very hard for her at preschool because of the sand situation. Her teachers were nice enough to keep her occupied with other activities, but she felt she was being punished. It's a hard situation. As far as the baths. I would wrap the casts with saran wrap and basically give her sponge baths.

I don't have experience with it as a parent, but I do remember when my brother broke his leg at age three. It was amazing how well he got around...they actually had to put him in a new cast midway through because he had worn through the bottom of the first one. I swear the kid still ran around...I bet he'll adjust just fine...


Hi working as a CNA dealing with casts sponge baths are the easiest but you can put a plastic bag on the cast and tie snuggly on the top of the leg and short showers with a sprayer on the head will work keeping the cast and leg dry using a small chair in the shower and keeping the leg out of the tub just in case. It is hard at that age because they are active finding fun games and projects can help and the school should have some ideas and be able to adapt with a special friend to spend time with him, Good luck it will be a learning experience for both of you and unfortunatly a early lesson in disappointments. Good luck

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I don't have experience with it as a parent, but I do remember when my brother broke his leg at age three. It was amazing how well he got around...they actually had to put him in a new cast midway through because he had worn through the bottom of the first one. I swear the kid still ran around...I bet he'll adjust just fine...


I would ask the preschool if he could stay inside with another class while his class plays outside. That way he can't harm the cast or his leg on the playground or in the sand. If the school can't accommodate that, then I would ask to pick him up when the others are playing outside or just not send him. The healing of his leg is very important, even though the restrictions can be a pain for everyone.

Hi M.,

When I had my cast (back in the 3rd grade), my mom would put a plastic bag over my arm when we went swimming, or took a bath. It worked pretty good. Except you have to make sure the bag does not have any holes in it! (fill it with water and if it leaks, then either double up, or use a different bag. but then turn the bag inside out and use it that way so the cast doesn't get wet.) Most Pre-schools are willing to help out and use the bags when they go outside, so that would work too! The bag we used was a popcorn bag we got from a movie rental store, but you can buy them at most Walmarts, (the popcorn is already popped). Those bags are a little heavier than a grocery bag and we had fewer leaks, and bigger too. We still went swimming, but we kept a good eye on it, and baths were not a problem either. We never used it when we went playing in the sand, but I am sure it would work fine!

Hope this helps! Good luck to your little guy! It is no fun being restricted to certain activities because of a cast, just make it fun for him anyways!

My son was in a cast from his nipples to his ankles when he was 3. I bathed him on the kitchen counter and made everything an "Adventure" Since he is my youngest, I was able to go to preschool with him and play games with him during the outdoor time. Since he is your oldest, this may not work for you, but maybe the school can make arrangements for him to "Visit" another classroom during his outdoor time, again, another "adventure" for him. Put a positive spin on it for him and it will make it easier for you too! Good Luck! The time will go faster than you think.

my three year old daughter just got out of her arm cast, but we were able to bathe her the entire time, thanks to my sister.

she got us a Dry Pro waterproof body protector (888-337-2724 or www.DRYCORP.com) for her arm (i am pretty sure that they also make them for legs) what it does is vacuum seal the cast and keep the water out. my nephew went water skiing and para sailing and many other things with his. my daughter really enjoyed being able to get her arm wet with it.

i hope it helps and good luck


I was a preschool director for a few years before I had my daughter. The center can make accomodations for you and your son. When the other children are outside your son can visit another class. If the otherclass is younger than tell your son he is going to be a helper for a little while everyday. There are always other things for him to do instead of beong outside. In my experience letting him outside but tempting him with the playground is not only frustrating for your son but also for his teacher. For boths sake I suggest keeping him inside. Once sand gets in his cast everyone is gonna be miserable.

Talk to the teachers at the school. Many times, there are ways to engage a child inside by having him/her be a special helper during breaks, or perhaps they can organize some other outdoor activities at picnic tables (away from teh sand hopefully) that he could participate in. Maybe they could blow and chase soap bubbles on the basketball court instead etc. Tell them the challenge, they've probably seen it before and should have some good ideas to help.

When my foot was in a cast, I made the mistake of NOT investing in a waterproof cast cover and just using 2 black garbage bags with duct tape to cover the cast for a quick shower. All it took was one little gap and my cast was SOAKING wet. I couldn't feel the water going in as my foot was rather numb from being in the cast for so long... of course it had to be removed.

As far as school goes, likely a large adult sock and 2 thick plastic bags (the first will snag and open), will cover his foot and can be taped down. His pant leg can be taped to his cast as well. Sand in the cast would be torture and for a 3 yr old, it is a minefield out there.

Good Luck!
L. P

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