Yesterday, I blogged about water safety. Today, I’m thinking that kids in casts present a whole new set of challenges! (Can you tell I’ve got summer on the brain? I’m heading up to the lake next week and just can’t wait!)
For most kids, summer means a time of playing in the sun, going for walks in the park, visiting a local pool or water park, having the best kid scooters, and just being a kid. Being in a cast can make these summer activities seem unattainable, and life with them in the house unbearable. However, there are some things you can do to keep your kid active and let them have a fun summer despite the cast.
Handling Water Activities
Summer and water activities go hand in hand, but some casts aren’t made to get wet. Your child won’t have to avoid the water completely though, as long as you take waterproofing measures first. Options include purchasing commercially created waterproof cast covers or creating your own. If you choose the latter, choose thick plastic or rubber that cannot be easily punctured, and seal each end securely to prevent water from slipping in. Note that you’ll need to make certain the child’s circulation isn’t compromised by the cast cover in any way, and you should check it periodically to make sure no water has gotten past the barriers.
Casts are heavy, cumbersome, and reduce a child’s ability to float or swim, so watch them closely around water and avoid any deep-water activities without a life jacket.
If your child is in a leg cast, they might have some mobility issues. You can help keep them more active and make sure they don’t miss out on the best summer activities. Crutches get in the way and are tiring, so look for items such as a KneeRover scooter that keep them safely moving without getting too tired or risking additional injury. Motorized tricycles or scooters are great options as long as your child is old enough to know how to operate them correctly.
Many indoor and outdoor activities only need to be modified a bit to make them cast-friendly. Your child in a leg cast can still play basketball if you lower the basket so they can shoot from a sitting position and jumping on the trampoline can still be accomplished if they sit or use one leg for most the time.
Lawn bowling, table tennis, and horseshoes are other activities that can be played outdoors while sitting down. If your child has a cast on the arm, then some rules can be adjusted to make up for the temporary handicap, such as giving extra points each time they score or giving extra turns.
Remember your kid has probably looked forward to summer break throughout the whole school season, only to have it hampered by a cast. Offer positive encouragement and creative solutions instead of resigning to bleakness. This time can actually be an important learning experience as your child overcomes obstacles and has a great time doing so.