help waterproof my son's arm cast

As luck would have it, Matthew broke his arm a week before we go to the beach. He’s a real water hound and it’s going to kill him if he can’t get in the water at all. I’m looking for ideas to make something to fit over his arm so he can at least get in the water a little bit.

Would a latex gasket attached to a breathable gortex-type closed sleeve work? Can you even buy latex gaskets small enough to fit his upper arm?

What about sources for breathable fabric? Sweet Composites doesn’t seem to list it anymore.

I was also wondering about neoprene. That would be the easiest. The thinner the better because of the heat. Would neoprene be waterproof?

Any and all suggestions welcome. We don’t have much time.

Here is a picture of the cast:

What a drag for the little guy. I’ll check with our docs to see if they have come up with any new gadgets for them. I work mainly in the hospital setting and have regular fiberglass stuff. I had heard of some type of water proof casting material, but that was some time ago. No matter what you find, just be careful. If water goes down inside the cast, the skin becomes mottled and could cause problems.

Isn’t the cast water proof? or does it disintegrate in water? What did the doc say?

Looks familar
I just got rid of a cast like that, only mine was purple. My suggestion is a long narrow plastic bag (no holes) worn like a glove over the hand and cast wrapped up well with duct tape at the elbow end. Italian bread bags worked for me. If you expect him to be in the water a long time, maybe double bag it. Heck if the cast gets wet and softens up on him, it’s only a 15 minute procedure to take him in and get a new one. And it feels so good to be able to scratch the arm for those few moments of freedom…

protect arm cast
Vetenarians (? spelling) use vinal gloves that reach their shoulders to perform rectal exaims on larg animals. When I broke my arm I was able to get a box of these gloves. Just slip into it and put a rubber band around the top and the cast will stay dry (with a bit of caution).

Check area animal clinics they might even give you a supply.

Good luck and have a goood vacation


Consider this

for the next cast.

But for the existing cast, here is your answer:

Baseball/Softball = 3 broken ankles
On my 3 different broken ankles, I used industrial strength garbage bags. Duct taped around the bag, so they would fit snug around the cast & then rubber banded the top.

Seepage during shower/swimming for short periods was minimal. On one occasion I ever did an overnight caving trip.


When I broke my arm

– Last Updated: Jun-24-06 6:15 PM EST –

I got the Gortex-lined cast. It allowed me to go swimming in the pool, body surf in the ocean, take a shower without any special precautions; in short, I would HIGHLY recommend getting it. I think that I had to pay the doc an additional 20 or 25 bucks since my insurance would not pay for it. The insurance would cover a "regular cast" only, not the waterproof style. That was the BEST money I had ever spent. I broke my arm right at the end of Spring and was really bummed that I would miss out on the beach season plus not being able to take a comfortable shower. With the Goretex lined cast, I did not have to worry about a single thing, it was fantastic.
All that being said, I see now where you need something to go over the cast since he already had the cast put on. If you go to CVS or any other large drugstore chain, they should have inflatalbe sleeves that go OVER the existing cast and then close tightly against his regular skin above the end of his cast up near his elbow. As long as he is not too rough with it, it should do the trick and allow him to play in the ocean.


As I type , my wife is in the shower

– Last Updated: Jun-24-06 8:33 PM EST –

with a cast on her lower leg. She has on a barrier that looks like a leg from dry pants only it has a large gasket at the top for the upper leg and the foot end is sealed.Looks like some of those shown above.Got it from the Dr.

Long Kayak Dry Bag–cinched and taped

– Last Updated: Jun-25-06 10:12 AM EST –

And I agree with cpt and String's input; there is no way to waterproof the cast itself (eg Thompsons waterseal), because it is the skin underneath it that will become mottled and macerated if the cast gets wet (plus the cast will disintegrate). So, even with the perfect cast, the skin will chafe, itch and later burn unless water is kept completely out of the entire cast-arm. Bread bags, but only if totally leakproof and not torn by child. Sweat alone can get itchy; some patients end up using a knitting needle just to scratch under the cast, it bothers so much. A tiny dose of baby powder or Show To Shower under there helps that slightly. But it would not help a full on submersion and wet cast.

Depending on your …
budget, you may want to go for that water proof cast. 40 bucks plus S/H depending on size. Either that or see if you doc has the gortex style liners…Sorry, no help from this end…

I used the XeroSox and they work great
I broke my leg last fall and the orthopedic surgeon recommended these. I tried it and it worked great.

It has some sort of a gasket and a pump that creates a vacuum seal inside the device. I needed help to get in on and off, but at least I could take a blessed shower.

My husband found it at a local medical supply store, but you can also buy it directly from the website listed above.

Hope your little guy feels better very soon. A broken bone sure isn’t any fun, especially in the summer time.

keeping cast dry
Ditto to String’s reply. Friend’s son broke his arm and the doctor had her visit a medical supply store and get a sleeve-like arrangement so he could shower. The cast was from just below his fingers to above his elbow. The thing worked well and cost about ten dollars. Ask the doctor for the name of the device and where you can buy it.


Don’t laugh, but how about a…
…female condom? If the lad asked what it is, lie.

thanks for the ideas
Got back from a camping/canoeing weekend and found all this help. I sure appreciate it and so does Matthew.

He goes to the doctor today and my wife will ask a abou a waterproof cast as was suggested. If that’s not available, it’s back to the list of other good ideas. Thanks again!