Not only are fractures and breaks painful for little bones, but thinking of ways to keep your kid entertained for weeks until the cast comes off can seem like an impossible task (especially in the summer, with limits on biking and swimming!). So with that in mind, we’ve rounded up a few tips to make living with a cast more tolerable for your kid (and for you!).

  1. First things first: If you’re headed to the emergency room with a pretty good idea that you’re dealing with a broken bone, give your kiddo the head’s up. Do a quick Google search for cast images, so your little one is prepared for the possibility of this treatment.
  2. Then, if an x-ray confirms your hunch, make it an adventure. Inquire about different cast colours, or ask the doc if you can make a custom sling at home with fabric your child chooses.
  3. If it’s a plaster or fibreglass cast, buy a brand new set of Sharpies for optimal friend signing and, if permitted, send the markers along to school or camp. (If you use non-permanent markers, just be prepared that the ink may bleed onto clothing).
  4. Your child will no doubt quickly notice the restrictions to their activities. Focus on the fun things they can still do, rather than drawing attention to the activities they can’t. A broken bone usually doesn’t mean they need to lie in bed all day. Take this opportunity for family nature walks, an afternoon treasure hunt or to spend the day wandering around your local aquarium or museum. (If your kid is dealing with a broken leg, consider renting a wheelchair for a few weeks so you aren’t so restricted when planning family outings.)
  5. Load up on your youngster’s favourite things. A basket full of toys, puzzles, colouring essentials and favourite books will help to pass the time. Save that screen time for when you both really need a break!

Pro parenting tip: Invest in a waterproof cast cover. Showers and baths will be less of an awkward battle, and your kid might still be able to take a dip in the pool!