–http://kidshealth.org, Nemours Foundation
The answer: joints (for example, wrists, elbows, knees). The joint above and the joint below the broken bone must be kept still in order for the bone to heal.
A cast has two layers: a soft layer of padding to protect the skin and a hard outer layer that keeps the broken bone from moving.
The outer layer is made of plaster or fiberglass.
Moms on Facebook's DDH Hip Dysplasia page chimed in with answers: depending on the age and size of the child, a spica cast can weigh from 2.5 lbs (11-month baby) to 12 lbs (5-year-old).
Never put anything inside to scratch the skin. Never put creams or powders in the cast to try to help the itching.
One thing you can do safely: use a hair dryer on the "cool" setting to blow air into the cast. This often provides relief. –The StayWell Company, LLC via Nationwide Children's Hospital
CastCooler® is a device said to relieve odor, itch and skin rash by keeping cast linings dry. For information and to purchase.
"The outer shell is taken off in pieces by a loud saw with a dull, round blade that vibrates. The vibration is strong enough to break apart the fiberglass or plaster, but it can't hurt [the] skin. It may even tickle."
–Cool Cast Facts, KidsHealth, Nemours Foundation
Yes, once the cast is off, the injured area will look weird – smaller than normal because of lost muscle, it may be hairy and probably the skin will be dry and flaky.
Children are great healers, so this weirdness is temporary. The doctor or physical therapist may suggest special exercises to regain strength and flexibility. Or, children may get back to normal all by themselves.
Your child's pediatrician and/or orthopedic surgeon!
Fabulous Facebook spica cast support groups:
In the United States:
Bones are strong, but even strong bones can break. A child’s broken bone heals much more quickly than an adult’s.
Because of the super healing ability of children’s bones, doctors more often treat their fractures with casts, not surgery. – http://Orthopedics.about.com
The largest and strongest bone in the body, the thigh bone is called the femur (FEE-muhr). A sudden strong impact can break the femur. That's what happened to Sammy.
The highest risks for children's femur fractures are:
Treating femur fractures: spica (SPY-kah) cast
Treating a child's femur fracture involves lining up the pieces of thigh bone and holding them in place until the bone is healed. In children between 7 months and 5 years a spica cast is applied to keep the broken pieces in the right position until the bone is healed. This is the cast Sammy wore.
Spica casts are also used to treat children with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH).
Great resources for caring for a child in a spica cast:
Two terrific Facebook spica cast support groups:
Not every child in a cast like Sammy's – a spica (SPY-kah) cast – has a broken leg. Some children, even babies, are in a spica cast to treat hip dysplasia (dis-PLAY-zuh). Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the bones of the hip joint aren't lined up properly. If untreated, it can lead to serious hip pain and problems later in life.
Of every 1,000 infants born each year in the United States, 2-3 will require treatment for hip problems.
Sammy applauds these brave children...and their families!
Sammy recommends a fanciful book, Hope the Hip Hippo by Gina Jay and Julie Beattie, for children in treatment for hip dysplasia. www.hopethehiphippo.com
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has taken a strong stand against the recreational use of trampolines: they're too dangerous. The Academy's findings:
In a 2016 post, Purnima Unni, a pediatric trauma injury prevention coordinator for Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt Medical Center, repeated the AAP's warning to avoid recreational trampoline use. But for parents who choose otherwise, she outlined the AAP's guidelines. Among them: