Pediatric Waterproof Casting

Broken bones and certain other injuries need a cast to hold the injury in place until it heals. At Children's Health℠, our orthopedic team has experience in applying waterproof casts for children. We offer waterproof casts whenever possible so your child can be more comfortable and get back to their usual activities without worrying about keeping their cast dry.


Fax: 214-456-7901


Fax: 469-303-4520


Fax: 469-303-4520


Fax: 469-303-4520

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What is Pediatric Waterproof Casting?

A cast is a hard bandage for an injured limb or other area that prevents the area from moving as it heals. A regular cast has a fiberglass outer layer with a cotton liner. A waterproof cast has the same fiberglass outer layer, but it has a special liner that doesn’t absorb water. That means the cast can get wet without falling apart.

We often use waterproof casts for broken bones. But we don’t use them if your child had surgery or has an open wound or stitches, because of the risk of infection. Your child’s care team will work with you to decide on the right type of cast.

What are the benefits of Pediatric Waterproof Casting?

There are several benefits of a waterproof cast vs. regular cast:

  • Children can shower, bathe and wash their hands as usual, so they and the cast both stay cleaner.
  • Children can exercise, swim and do other water activities, without the need for a cast cover.
  • You or your child can wash dirt and sweat from under the cast, reducing the risk of mildew, bacteria, odors and skin problems.
  • Smoother liner material reduces skin itchiness and improves comfort.
  • Breakthrough material keeps skin dryer by allowing moisture and sweat to evaporate.
  • There’s no need for prep time to cover the cast before bathing, showering or other wet activities, and a waterproof cast dries quickly.

What are the side effects of Pediatric Waterproof Casting?

Some children may be allergic to the waterproof casting material, which can cause skin irritation, especially in children with sensitive skin. Contact your child’s provider to switch to a traditional cast if your child shows any signs of a reaction to the waterproof cast.

What to expect with Pediatric Waterproof Casting

Our orthopedic specialists and cast technicians have specialized training to apply pediatric waterproof casts for a wide range of injuries. We work carefully to keep your child as comfortable as possible.

What to expect before Pediatric Waterproof Casting

In most cases, you don’t need to prepare your child before having a waterproof cast put on. Our Child Life team is available to help children understand what to expect during casting.

Sometimes, we may use anesthesia to put your child in a sleep-like state if they need to be very still during a cast application. If so, we will provide complete instructions to help you prepare, including when they should stop eating and drinking.

Read more tips on preparing your child for anesthesia.

What to expect during Pediatric Waterproof Casting

In most cases, you and your child will come to our outpatient clinic on the appointment day. The steps to put on a cast include:

  1. Wrapping the body area with a liner of waterproof material
  2. Placing the outer fiberglass material over the inner liner
  3. Wrapping with a second layer of fiberglass, which takes about 15 minutes to harden

If your child will need anesthesia for their cast application, we’ll take them to the operating room. The anesthesiologist will give them the medicine to help them sleep and monitor them throughout the procedure. The rest of the application follows the same steps as above.

What to expect after Pediatric Waterproof Casting

Your child must get their waterproof cast completely wet every day to keep the lining in good condition. It takes about five to 10 minutes for the cast to dry, and you can use a hair dryer on the cool setting to help it dry faster.

See more details about cast maintenance.

What questions should I ask my child's provider about Pediatric Waterproof Casting?

As you decide on treatment for your child, here are some questions you may want to ask their care team:

  • Are there other treatment options for my child?
  • Will my child go home with any special equipment after they get a waterproof cast?
  • How do I take care of my child’s waterproof cast?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why would a child need waterproof casting?

    Like a traditional cast, a waterproof cast helps stabilize broken bones and other injuries to allow them to heal. Unlike a traditional cast, a waterproof cast can get wet without falling apart. It allows your child to bathe, shower and do other wet activities without worrying about keeping the cast dry.

  • How much does it cost to get a waterproof cast?

    Costs for waterproof casts can vary, and your health insurance plan may not cover the costs. Please ask your child’s provider for details or contact your health insurance company to confirm what your plan covers.

  • Can a child swim with an arm cast?

    Yes, your child can go swimming in a waterproof cast. However, we recommend swimming only in a swimming pool, not a pond or the ocean, to avoid getting dirt, sand or other debris inside the cast.