Hygiene And Toileting

Find a cleaning technique that suits you and your child. Try to keep the plaster and the lining as dry as possible. For washing, use a sponge. Do not bathe the child in a bath tub. Keep as eye out for food or small objects that may have become trapped in the spica cast.

With a child in nappies, it is common for the cast to smell. This is usually due to the seepage of urine into the lining. Waterproof tape can prevent this. Use a smaller nappy than you would normally use for inside the cast, then a larger one for outside the cast. Avoid using lotions, creams or powders under or around the cast. If the child has nappy rash, use petroleum jelly (eg. vasoline) instead.

If the cast becomes soiled, set aside a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean the cast. Follow this up with a damp cloth. The toothpaste is ideal for helping to remove the odour.

For children who are toilet trained, it is possible to sit on the toilet seat with assistance. Try a bed pan or bottle if this is too difficult. Use pillows under the child’s head so that the urine will not run backwards inside the cast.

Hair washing is one of the most difficult problems for a child in a spica cast. Ideally two adults are required- one to direct the water and one to hold the head and body. A shower hose is best. Use the eye-friendly shampoo or a face shield.

Spica Casts