How to Get Prepared for Your Child in a Spica Cast

Sorry, I know this is pretty lengthy. Unfortunately, we felt like when we were writing this that none of these things could be left out because they are all so important. We hope it is very informative, none the less.

What to Bring To the Hospital

I would not worry about bringing too much to the hospital with you. It will just make more for you to carry around. The hospital should have just about everything that you will need such as diapers (large and small sizes) and food. I did however bring a few bottles for our daughter because she is pretty picky about what kind of bottle she will drink out of. If you have a picky child then I would bring your own. You will also need some clothes to bring them home. You will want to use clothing that is several sizes too big normally. For example, Lilie is 6 months wearing 9 month clothing, but I bought onesies that were 24 months. They still fit a little tight, but they work. You do not want clothing that is too heavy because it may make them sweat. This can cause their skin to break out causing sores which are very painful.

I recommend having feminine pads ready to line the cast with, but you are not going to need them at the hospital. There is going to be a lot of swelling around the incision area that will not allow you get them in place correctly. Use these once you get your child home.
I would also make sure that you bring something that is familiar to them. They won’t feel like playing very much, but that will help comfort them. I would just bring something small like a blanket, stuffed toy, or pacifier something like that.

You will most likely be spending most of your time standing next to their bed so make sure that you wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You will also want money for the vending machines because you may be up in the middle of night and need a snack to keep going. Caffeine can be a life saver during really long nights.

One of the problems that we had was people visiting that had been exposed to illnesses prior to coming to the hospital. I would recommend not letting anyone that has been exposed to any form of flu within the last two weeks to visit especially if it is the stomach flu virus. Our first daughter got a stomach virus from someone and became extremely sick in the following days. They are just too weak to fight off any kind of illness. It also made her cast smell from a mile away.

One thing that we learned this last time of surgery was not to be scared to tell the nurses what you need. They are there to make your child as comfortable as possible. If you feel that the pain medication is not working, do not be afraid to ask the nurse to call the doctor for other options.

Things For Home

One of the best things that you can do for the family is to prepare your home. You will want to have everything cleaned and disinfected for when you come home from surgery. I usually spray all surfaces areas with Lysol that day of the surgery that way when we come home everything is already germ-free.

I would also recommend preparing at least one week worth of food. It will be much easier on you if you do not have to worry about food for everyone. If you cannot prepare food in advance buy frozen foods that are easy to prepare. You are not going to have much time to spend on cooking, even if you and your spouse are working together.

You are going to need some place for your child to sit comfortably when you cannot hold them. The cast is always bigger than you think, so try to find something that does not have really high sides. Most of the time, you will not be able to use a swing, bouncy seat, or high chair because there is just not enough room. We have used a bean bag with both our girls and it works really well.

Buying all the things that you are going to need in advance will really help you when you come home. You are going to need two different sizes in diapers. A small diaper will work for the inside (Newborn to s.2) and a larger size for the outside (size 4 to 6). I also recommend buying feminine pads for lining the cast. It has saved the cast from getting soiled so many times. I buy Stayfree ultra thins with no wings. They are easiest to fit inside and relatively inexpensive. I also use medical tape to hold them in place on the outside of the cast. This not going to look great, but it is a necessary precaution to keep the cast as dry as possible.

I hope that this helps you with the preparation.

Posted in Information, Tips and Tricks | November 16th, 2009

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