Giving a Toddler a Bath with a Cast on His Arm

Updated on February 24, 2011
A.M. asks from Albuquerque, NM
15 answers

my 2.5 yr old broke his arm this week. I need to purchase a waterproof cover for his cast so he can take a bath. I have had no luck locating one so far... Wal-Mart and Wal-Greens did not have one. Anyone know where I can find one?

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answers from Johnstown on

When I suffered through my many (and I do mean many) broken arms growing up (the joys of being 5'4" at the age of 11), I used bread bags w/ rubber bands to seal it off at my arm. Worked like a charm!

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answers from La Crosse on

We had two casts on the arm at that age...never found an official waterproof cover. We just used a couple trash bags and rubber bands. Then we put towels over the top of that, and duct tape (tightly on the towels, not on his skin) to further keep water out of the bag. Additionally we would face him which ever way would allow the arm to be propped up on the side of the tub since the thought of that smelley thing getting wet and itchy was more than I could was nasty enough. No matter what you find and do, they will still manage to get it totally funky within weeks.

Also...bring a camera to take pictures when you get it removed so you can keep record of the crazy stuff they stick in their casts when you aren't looking. Our little guy had crayons, a pencil, a chopstick, an oxidized quarter that had turned brown, a superball, and a hotwheels car!!!

Also, if your son has to get the cast replaced...ask for a waterproof one. They usually want a regular one for the first cast for stability...but if he has to wear it for a while they will sometimes replace it with a waterproof version which is GREAT!

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answers from Phoenix on

My 2.5 year old has broken his arm twice. We loved Glad Press and Seal wrap. It worked perfectly. That's what our doc recommended.

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answers from Cumberland on

I see you live in a warm climate. The goofballs at the hospital/doctor's office should have given you a cover before you left-they're almost like a balloon that you stretch over the cast. The bag the newspaper is delivered in works well-tape it on gently with medical tape and leave that arm resting on the outside ledge of the tub. You can also use a small trash bag. If it happens again, depending on the severity of the fracture-you may be able to get a couple of cast liners and a "velcroable" hard cast, that is removable for bathing-or can be removed after bathing-ithey are made of plastic and can get completely wet-then you just put on a clean, dry sleeve-and reattach the cast. The nice thing about them, in addition to being waterproof-is that they can be tightened as the swelling in the arm goes down. Good luck!



answers from Flagstaff on

you could try the old fashioned way, wrap in plastic, rubber band, you'd have to keep a close eye, but it'd work.



answers from Tucson on

My mom always used a bread bag, sometimes doubling it if needed.



answers from Louisville on

Sports stores might also carry them - but plastic wrap also works! We did that on dgd's arm when bathing and even a little swimming! Wrap it up with that and also added a second covering of plastic (bag or such) when doing a little trip to the pool.

As for bathing - have you tried a little shower type thing that hooks onto the faucet? Finally found one that attached to an indoor faucet (easy to find outdoor hookups - dog bathers!) -- worked great for her tho she was a little bit bigger than your child!



answers from Orlando on

Don't know where to find one of those, but in the meant time you can use a small trash bag & rubber band.



answers from Phoenix on

I actually just saw one at the Walmart near my house here in Arizona, so it might just be that your walmart was out of them. Anyway, when my daughter broke her arm, I bought 2 gallon ziploc bags (with the slider) and put those over her arm. She was eight - your little one might almost get away with a 1 gallon....I then used a little painters tape to "seal" the little portion around the top of her arm where the zipper couldn't close completely. That way, it didn't hurt when I removed the tape. We were fortunate that our shower has a hand-held sprayer - that helped a lot. Good luck.



answers from Washington DC on

My 2 1/2 yr old broke his ankle a couple months ago and we skipped baths while he was in the cast. I gave him sponge baths before bed each night and every 3 or 4 days would lay him on the kitchen counter with his head over the sink to wash his hair.



answers from Columbus on

We didn't do baths when my youngest broke her arm. She got a sponge bath on the bathroom counter and we laid her down with her head in the sink for her hair. We tried the bath thing but keeping it dry was a huge hassle, and if it gets even a little wet it smells awful. It was so much easier to do the sponge bath.


answers from Albuquerque on

I have raised 5, 4 of them boys and they are all teens now. Together we've dealt with 11 casts over the years, one of them for 4 months on a 5 year old from toe to hip! I say that so that you know we've had a ton of experience here! We used a plastic bag with a rubber band at the top, however, above the cast we wrapped (folded and snugly but not tight around the arm) a clean bandanna. This keeps water that would otherwise seep in from making the cast soggy. We also used bags like heavy bread bags or strong small (2 gallon) trash bags because they're more dependable...less likely to leak. Best wishes!



answers from Boston on

Medical supply stores carry them. Google and see if there's one near you. Good luck. My little one broke his ankle when he was only a year and baths were tough. I actually think we just gave up and did sponge baths.



answers from Phoenix on

Don't bother buying a waterproof silly thingy. Just take a few old grocery bags and tie them around the top of the cast. Just watch to be sure he keeps his arm on the ledge of the tub. And make it quick. He can play after he gets clean, and out. Better yet, make it a sponge bath. He does not need to soak. Just have the tub running and wash him down standing up.



answers from Baton Rouge on

When my daughter broke her arm, I just had her sit in the tub with her bad arm resting on the side of the tub and I carefully bathed around it. It was easier than trying to cover it and worrying that the cover might leak.

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