How are the casts removed?
The plaster cast can either be removed in clinic or at home. To avoid a relapse the cast should be removed as close to your appointment as possible. Ask your hospital for any advice but in general if you use a baby bath to soak the cast for a good 10 minutes with warm water the cast will start to disintegrate. Every week as your baby is recast the process will get easier and most mums find that feeding is the best way to keep your baby happy and calm. Alternatively, you can try distracting them with their favourite toys or music. Sometime a cast cutting saw or plaster knife is used to remove the cast, both of which are perfectly safe as they cannot cut your baby’s skin
Can my baby wear clothes after the casting?
To enable the cast to dry thoroughly, your baby shouldn’t wear trousers/sleepsuit over the cast for the first 24hrs so don’t forget to bring a vest and a blanket to keep your baby warm. We would also suggest that you bring an old towel to protect your car seat from the wet plaster.
What advice would you give to care for my child whilst in cast?
You will not be able to bath your baby during the plaster stage so they will need a thorough wash (top and tail) with a damp cloth at least once a day to keep them feeling fresh. You will generally be allowed to bathe your baby at the hospital when they take the cast off and before they apply the new one – please do check this with your hospital as this can vary.
The edges of the plaster are often protected by a water resistant tape which also protects the skin from rubbing but it is still best to clean these areas with baby lotion or wipes. Avoid using talc as it can slip down inside the plaster which can irritate the baby's skin.
Some babies can have disturbed sleep patterns during treatment especially when the first cast is applied. Try altering their position at the first signs of wakefulness and inserting a folded towel beneath the legs to take off any pressure.
A beanbag or large scatter cushion can be useful as it moulds to you baby’s shape and helps to keep them comfortable. However do not let them sleep on a beanbag or cushion overnight or use with blankets or covers as your baby can easily overheat.
NB: If the cast is rubbing, slipping or has got very wet please go back to your hospital and seek medical advice.
How will I know the casts are working?
You will be surprised how quickly the foot is looking ‘normal’ and you should see an improvement after each casting appointment. At the start of the casting treatment your hospital may have graded your child’s feet from 0 - 6 (6 being the most severe) this is known as the Pirani score and this should gradually reduce as the feet improve.