Plaster casts in children
Your child has had a plaster cast applied to hold their bones in a fixed position to aid recovery. Plaster casts are made up of a bandage and a hard covering (usually Plaster of Paris). They usually need to stay on for a few weeks.
Taking good care of your cast will help ensure a better recovery.
Please read the following care advice and tips
• Keep the plaster cast dry.
• Keep the limb raised, if advised to do so. This lessens the chance of any swelling.
• Observe for signs of staining if there was an underlying wound.
• Follow advice given about exercising all joints that are not covered by the plaster cast to help improve your circulation such as your elbow, knee, fingers or toes.
• Observe for signs of discoloration affecting fingers or toes.
• Seek advice if there is any pain in the fingers or toes.
• Please give painkillers if your child is experiencing any discomfort following application of the cast.
• Do not take any bath or showers, walk on wet grass or in puddles as it will cause the plaster to disintegrate.
• You can discuss the use of waterproof protectors with the healthcare professional who consults with you or the plaster technicians.
• Do not put anything inside the cast. This could irritate the skin and cause an infection.
• Do not use talcum powder or creams inside the plaster cast. These become gritty when mixed with sweat which could also irritate the skin and cause an allergy or infection.
• Do not cut or heat the plaster cast.
Plaster cast problems
You should go to your local hospital’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) department if:
• Your plaster cast still feels too tight after keeping it elevated for 24 hours.
• Your fingers or toes on the affected limb feel swollen, tingly, painful (following the use of painkillers) or numb.
• Your fingers or toes turn blue or white.
• Your cast feels too loose.
• Your cast is broken or cracked.
• The skin underneath or around the edge of your cast feels sore.
• There is an unpleasant smell or discharge from your cast.
If you have any concerns about your plaster cast
Call the Plaster room, Worthing Hospital on 01903 205111 Ext: 85445
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
For general medical advice please use the NHS website, the NHS 111 service, walk-in-centres, or your GP.
NHS website provides online health information and guidance.
There are walk-in and urgent treatment services at Brighton Station, Crawley Urgent Treatment Centre, Lewes Victoria Hospital, Horsham Minor Injuries Unit and Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital.
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way
intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.