When your little darling has an accident that results in an X ray and a confirmed fracture or break, you’re most likely worried about their pain. But then, the doctor says, “He needs to rest and be still for three weeks.” And you think, “Oh crap!” What about all the activities you’ve scheduled (and paid for?), what about school, what about your job? We break it down for you.
The Tough Stuff
Your child’s pain may last for around a week or until the swelling underneath the cast goes down. In some cases, the swelling is so bad after the injury that a doctor won’t cast it until a week after it occurred. In worst cases, surgery is required to repair the break. Regardless of how severe, follow the doc’s protocol for pain management, particularly if it includes ice and elevation.
Tweak Your Child’s Daily Routine
Depending on which little part they busted, mom and dad are going to have to dive in, facilitating with teeth brushing, getting dressed, hair combing, and possibly toilet time. The age of your child is also a factor. Some kids may regress or get frustrated when you have to help them, others may like the help because at least they don’t have you nagging them if they did it properly.
Dealing with a Non-Waterproof Cast
Not all kids get a hard, waterproof cast, so bathing and showering may become less relaxing than it used to be. After bathing, you may want to turn a hair dryer on cool and blow it through the openings of the cast, just to zap any unwanted moisture which may result in itching.
Something to look forward to, the cast is really going to be rancid when it comes off. And the skin underneath is going to look pale and wrinkly and feel squishy.
Adjusting After the Cast is Removed
Even when you make it to the finish line and it’s time to buzz the cast off, be prepared for an adjustment period when your child’s muscles and tendons need to regain strength and flexibility. Or you may have a rocket launch who looks like they never missed a beat.
The Fluff Stuff
Pillows are your kid’s friends. Prop till you drop. Maybe dig out your maternity sleeping pillow from storage. Keeping your kid comfy round-the-clock is key to whomever is caring for him/her.
Bust out the Sharpies! Why not stick some googly eyes on the cast and make it look like a pet? Decorating casts is a thing on Pinterest. You can get creative with crutches and arm slings, too. Some parents have gone uber cute and made little casts for their child’s stuffed animals. Misery loves company!
Communicate with Caregivers
Make sure you communicate with school and caregivers about what your child can and cannot do. If she can walk around and get fresh air at recess that’s better than sitting in the lunch room reading.
If your patient is home-bound, it’s time to line up some playdates. Who’s going to be good at playing cards, coloring, Legos, Mad Libs and board games? Who’s better at chilling in front of a good movie? Thankfully, your child’s brain doesn’t have to go to mush while they’re looking part-mummy. Reading, audio books and educational apps can keep your child and their company feeling enlightened.
Stay Prepared for Life’s Surprises
Bumps, bruises and owies – oh my! Parenthood is never boring. Be prepared with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind. Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.