A hip spica body cast is used to keep your child's hips and legs from moving after an injury and / or operation. It is not a walking cast; your child should not stand, bear weight or walk while in this cast.
Follow these guidelines to ensure the best care for your child.
Whenever there is a cast in place, it is important to check the function of the nerves and blood vessels. Check the following three to four times a day:
- The color of your child's toes should be pink and warm to the touch
- Your child should be able to feel all sides of his / her toes when touched
- Your child should have little swelling of the toes
- Your child should be able to wiggle his / her toes the same as before casting
If your child has a spica cast with a Gore-Tex liner:
- do not petal the cast
- handle the Gore-Tex liner gently to prevent tears
If your child has a standard spica cast (without a Gore-Tex liner):
Once the cast is dry, you may "petal" the cast as instructed below to keep it clean and dry, and to avoid rough edges: (Do not "petal" the cast if it has a Gore-Tex liner).
- Cut several strips of petaling tape to a length of about 4 inches.
- Tuck one end of the tape under the edge of the cast, and apply the tape to the cotton lining. Place the free end of the tape onto the cast's outside surface.
- Continue to overlap the strips until a complete edge is formed.
- Cover all edges of the cast, paying special attention to the diaper area opening.
Check the cast daily for cracks and dents, and for a change in the amount of room your child has between his / her skin and the cast.
To control odor and soiling, use a slightly damp cloth and mild soap to remove dirt. Allow the cast to air dry. Odor-Eaters may keep down odor if taped on the cast. If the cast becomes extremely soiled or wet, please call your doctor's office so they can give you additional instructions.
Do not pull your child up by the arms or the armpits. Instead, hold your child by supporting the bottom of the cast.