Hip spica cast

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
A hip spica (SPY-kuh) cast is needed after a fracture for a congenitally (kuhn-JEHN-ih-tuhl-ly) dislocated hip, tendon releases, or after surgery around the hip or upper leg. Your child's hips must be kept in a certain position to prevent any movement so the bones and tendons can heal properly. Caring for a child in this type of cast includes the prevention of sores caused by irritation and pressure of the cast against the skin. You may want to keep a close eye on the tightness of the cast and circulatory changes caused by swelling or by the normal growth process. It's important to keep the cast dry and clean, but if the cast becomes wet from liquids or urine, it will absorb the moisture and odor. You can use a small amount of baby powder or baking soda on the soiled portion of the plaster cast to help it look and smell cleaner. To prevent heavy soiling, you can line the diaper area of the cast with plastic strips that may be applied when the cast is completely dry. The plastic may be washed daily or replaced when soiled. When carrying your child, always support the child under the cast. If you're traveling, use a car seat and secure the child carefully with belts and snaps.
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