Caregivers will tell you how long your child needs to stay in bed. Follow their instructions carefully. Books, board or video games, music, TV and visiting friends can all help lessen your child’s boredom.
When caregivers say it is ok for them to get out of bed, involve your child in family activities. Changing rooms and going outdoors may help your child cope better with not being able to get around on their own.
Your school age child may be in a spica cast from four to eight weeks. Call your child’s teachers before they leave the hospital. This will give them time to plan for home study and other services as soon as possible.
Encourage your child to do as much as they can for themselves. Doing things for themselves will help them to feel some control over their life.
Moving & Traveling
To move around at home, smaller children may fit into a stroller or wagon padded with pillows. Use a seat belt, if needed, to make sure your child will not fall out.
Older children will be able to use a reclining (moveable back) wheelchair. You can rent one from a medical supply company.
A reclining outdoor lounge chair may also be used as a portable bed. This helps keep your child involved in family activities. Use pillows and towels for support and to cover any rough edges.
There are various ways to move your child safely:
- Carry him as close to you as possible.
- For one-person lifting, cradle your child under the arms and the buttocks, supporting the weight of the cast.
- For two people, one person lifts under the shoulders and the other lifts the legs at the same time. Talk out loud to each other or count “1-2-3” so you both lift in a smooth motion.
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting.
There are special car seats and safety vests made for children in spica casts. Ask caregivers before you leave the hospital about how to get one for your child.