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We can make a cast waterproof by using a special kind of padding. Children can bathe and swim with waterproof casts.
Waterproof casts aren't right for all broken bones. Your child's doctor will let you know if a waterproof cast is possible.
Please note that the Emergency Department (ED) at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh does not do waterproof casting.
We only offer waterproof casting in the Orthopaedic Surgery Clinic. Parents will need to buy the special padding themselves (see below for more details about that).
Whether your child's cast is waterproof or non-waterproof, some of the same basic tips apply.
You can submerge a waterproof cast completely in water. This means a child can bathe as normal with a waterproof cast. They can even swim with a waterproof cast.
But there are a few things to keep in mind:
Both non-waterproof and waterproof casts can irritate the skin and cause rashes. Waterproof casts can cause more skin irritation if you don't care for them properly.
Make sure to avoid sand, and don't swim in natural bodies of water. The risk of skin irritation is too great.
Make sure your child's waterproof cast is completely dry before they go to bed. Check the skin around the waterproof cast once in the morning and once at night.
Be sure to:
Just as with regular casts, the skin under a waterproof cast can itch. Never put anything down under the waterproof cast to scratch. Instead:
Keep in mind that insurance doesn't cover waterproof padding. You'll need to pay for it out of pocket.
We suggest buying AquaCast Liner because it seems to cause fewer skin problems. Note: UPMC Children's Hospital has no financial ties with this company.
You can buy waterproof padding :
How much padding you need depends on the type of cast and how big your child is.
The doctor can't put on the waterproof cast if you don't have enough padding. It's a good idea to buy extra and return what you don't use.
Pharmacies (and most online vendors) will have kits and instruct you on how much you need.
Seek health care right away if your child has:
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With MyCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
For questions about a hospital bill call:
To pay your bill online, please visit UPMC's online bill payment system.
Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.