Cast Care

Home care instructions for arm and leg casts.

Skin Care

  • Keep the cast dry. If the skin is exposed to moisture for a prolonged period of time it can get infected. If a cast becomes wet, it will weaken and can break. You can use waterproof cast covers or bags, which can be purchased at most large drugstores or online. While some of them are effective, sometimes the cast still gets wet. Ultimately, the safest thing to do is to sponge bathe only. If, despite all precautions, the cast is damped in water, it is best to return to our clinic or Urgent Care to be assessed for the need of a cast replacement.

  • Do not put talcum powder or ointments on the skin near the cast. The skin can get irritated.

  • Do not allow items to fall into a cast or let your child put things inside of it (i.e., food crumbs, small toys, coins, etc.) If these objects remain in the cast, they can cause skin sores.

  • Do not allow your child to use a hanger or anything similar to scratch inside the cast, since it is easy to injure the skin. If they complain of itchiness, you can use a hair dryer to help relieve it, but put it on a low, cool setting before blowing the air into the cast.

    Caution: Do not use heat settings.

Things to Do

  • Check fingers and/or toes for good circulation. They should be pink and warm.

  • Elevate your child’s cast with at least 2 pillows (above the level of the heart) unless otherwise indicated by your doctor.

  • Do not allow your child to walk on the cast unless indicated by your doctor. If your child is allowed to walk on the cast, they should always use a cast shoe.

  • There is cotton padding surrounding the entire cast. It is important for the cotton to stay in place to protect your child skin. Make sure that your child does not remove the cotton.

Call the Doctor If

  • You see extreme redness of the fingers or toes, especially since it is associated with swelling.

  • There is continuous swelling of the involved fingers or toes.

  • The fingers/toes are purple and/or extremely cold.

  • Your child complains of numbness of the fingers/toes or complains of tingling or “pins and needles.”

  • Your child complains of persistent pain that is not relieved by your child’s prescribed pain medication.

  • If there is a foul odor or unexplained drainage from the cast.

See more information


Orthopedic Rehabilitation