Keeping Your Cast Dry
Keeping your cast dry is an essential part of cast care and more importantly of your healing process. Yet the fact is that wearing a cast is a nuisance – and trying to shower or bathe with a cast is an even greater hurdle. Moreover, with the arrival of summer, thousands of cast wearers – and especially children with a cast – are dying to dive into the water, go to the beach or pool, and not miss out on the fun in the sun.
Fortunately, there are a number of effective ways to protect casts from water and from the damage a wet cast can cause. By learning about cast care and the type of cast or splint you are wearing, you’ll be able to face the challenges of keeping your cast dry in the shower, bathtub, and swimming pool.
If you have a fractured arm or leg, you are likely wearing a cast or a splint. Casts keep your bones from moving and support your limbs while they heal. One of the first rules of thumb any doctor will tell you is to keep your cast dry. A wet cast can lose its shape and not be able to offer your broken bones the support they need. Moreover, if a cast’s cotton lining gets wet, it can lead to a rash or infection inside the cast.
Keeping Plaster Casts Dry
In the first days after your injury, some doctors will apply a plaster cast. Made from a thick paste of white powder and water, plaster casts can be easily fitted around swelling and are typically heavy and bulky. Since plaster casts will dissolve if they get wet, it’s especially important to keep your plaster cast dry and invest in a waterproof cast protector that allows you to shower and bathe safely.
Water-Resistance Fiberglass Casts
Once your swelling has gone down, your plaster cast will likely be replaced by a fiberglass cast, which is stronger, lighter, and cooler. Fiberglass casts are water resistant on the outside but not on the inside.
Tips on Keeping Your Cast Dry
Doctors are adamant about keeping casts dry. Here are some tips on how to keep your arm cast, leg cast, splint, or bandage dry so that your limbs heal and your skin stays dry and comfortable.
- One often-attempted but NOT recommended idea for keeping your cast dry is to simply hold your cast out of harm’s way. Using this method, water will most certainly drip down your arm or leg, soaking and damaging the cast padding in the process.
- Another unfortunately popular but NOT recommended method is to tie a garbage bag around your cast. As anyone who has tried this can tell you, this approach is both a messy nuisance AND ineffective!
- Invest in a high quality cast sleeve, cast cover, or cast protector which has a 100% watertight seal and which is designed for bathing, showering, and/or swimming. The strongest and most effective cast protectors allow you to fully submerge in water without fear of getting your cast, bandage, or splint wet.
- Remember: for over 25 years, DryCast has proven itself as the ONLY reliable answer for your cast protecting needs!