Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
A cast is a hard bandage that keeps part of the body from moving so it can heal.
Kids get casts after breaking a bone, other injuries, and some surgeries.
Most casts are made of fiberglass. Fiberglass is a kind of plastic that is moldable and dries hard. Some fiberglass casts are waterproof.
Less often, casts are made of plaster of paris. This white powder is mixed with water into a paste. The paste hardens when it’s dried.
Yes, there is a cast that can be worn in showers and pools. A waterproof cast is a regular fiberglass cast with a different type of liner. Doctors use waterproof casts only for some kinds of broken bones.
A health care provider such as an
surgeon, emergency room doctor,
, orthopedic technician, or
puts on the cast.
To put on the cast, the health care provider:
A fiberglass cast gets warm as it hardens. It cools in about 15 minutes.
If the cast is not waterproof, keep the cast and liner dry. A wet cast or liner can lead to a skin rash or infection.
If the cast is itchy:
Casts that don’t have a special waterproof liner must stay dry. Even kids who are old enough to bathe alone will need help to keep the cast dry while bathing.
If the cast or liner gets splashed, gently blow air into it from a hair dryer on the cool or fan-only setting. If some of the cast or liner goes under water or gets very wet, call your doctor.
Call your doctor if:
Health care providers take off casts with a small electrical saw. The saw cuts through the cast material but stops before it touches the skin.
When the cast is off, the skin will probably look pale, dry, or flaky. The hair will look darker and the muscles will look smaller. This is normal and goes away within a few weeks.
Casts can be inconvenient, but most kids don’t have any problems with them. Help your child care for the cast so it stays in good condition and does not lead to irritation. Within a few months, most kids can get back to all the activities they enjoy.
Many kids will have a broken bone at some point. Here’s what to expect.
Broken bones have an amazing ability to heal, especially in kids. Full healing can take time, but new bone usually forms a few weeks after an injury.
How long does a broken bone take to heal? Find out!
If you ever break a bone, you’ll probably need a cast to hold the pieces of bone steady while they’re healing.
When a bone breaks, it’s called a fracture.
Injuries to growth plates, which produce new bone tissue and determine the final length and shape of bones in adulthood, must be treated so that bones heal properly.
You’ll get an X-ray if your doctor thinks you might have a broken bone. Find out how X-rays are done in this video for kids.
This video shows what it’s like to get an X-ray.
A broken bone needs emergency medical care. Here’s what to do if you think your child just broke a bone.
It’s not always easy to tell if you have a stress fracture, and stress fractures can get worse quickly. This article explains how to prevent and treat them.
You probably can’t waitÂ toÂ get back to your normal activities, but it takes a while for a limb that’s been in a cast to finish healing. Here’s what to expect.
What happens when you break a bone?
Sprains and strains are common injuries, especially for people who play hard or are intoÂ sports. Find out what they are and how to recuperate from one.
This article for teens has tips on taking care of a cast so it keeps working as it should.
Physical therapy uses exercises and other special treatments to help people move their bodies. Find out more in this article for kids.
Bones are tough stuff – but even tough stuff can break. Find out what happens when a bone fractures.
Some injuries will heal best if a cast is used. Find out how they work and how to take care of them in this article for kids.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.