If you have a cast, it can be difficult to stay active during the healing process. Swimming is often recommended for those with casts due to its low-impact nature to reduce swelling.
However, traditional casts are not waterproof, so dipping in the pool may seem impossible. Fortunately, there are ways to make your cast water-resistant so that you can enjoy swimming again!
With some simple supplies and steps, you can learn how to waterproof a cast for swimming and get back into the pool safely and comfortably.
This guide will provide all of the necessary information on properly waterproofing your cast and tips on what kind of precautions should be taken before entering the water.
7 Reasons Why It’s Important to Waterproof a Cast for Swimming:
1. Reduce the Risk of Fungal Infections:
Keeping your cast dry is essential to preventing fungal infections. When immersed in water, fungi and bacteria can easily enter the cast material, which increases the chance of infection. Waterproofing a cast will keep it sealed and free from any contaminants.
2. Prevent Skin Irritation:
A wet cast can irritate the skin as it rubs against the material. Waterproofing a cast will help keep your skin dry and protected from any chafing or irritation from swimming. If your cast is not waterproofed, it can also cause the skin to become overly moist and vulnerable to bacteria.
3. Improve Comfort Levels:
Waterproofing a cast will reduce the amount of water that gets into the material, making it more comfortable to wear while swimming. It can also help keep your cast light and less bulky, making moving around in the water easier.
4. Avoid Damage to the Cast:
Swimming in an unprotected cast can damage the material, increasing the chance of injury or infection down the road.
Waterproofing your cast will provide extra protection from harmful bacteria and chemicals found in swimming pools. It will also help you from accidentally snagging the cast on something in the pool.
5. Enhance Mobility:
Waterproofing a cast will help to keep it light and non-bulky, which can be beneficial if you’re trying to move around while swimming. It also helps to improve flexibility and range of motion, allowing for better overall movement in
6. Prevents Mold and Mildew Growth:
Waterproofing your cast will help to keep moisture out, which is necessary for mold and mildew growth. This can help you avoid unpleasant odors and skin irritation from prolonged contact with these substances.
7. Allows You to Enjoy swimming:
Waterproofing a cast makes it possible to enjoy swimming again. It can help you to stay active and healthy during the healing process, as well as provide a sense of normalcy in your everyday life. Waterproofing a cast is essential to ensure you can enjoy the pool while keeping your body safe and healthy.
Now that you are aware of the benefits let’s look at a few ways on how to waterproof a cast for swimming.
How to Waterproof a Cast for Swimming: 6 Easy Solutions
1. Using Waterproof Plastic Bags:
Plastic bags are one of the simplest ways to waterproof a cast for swimming. Cut off the top and bottom of two large plastic bags, then cut them in half lengthwise.
Place your arm or leg with the cast into one bag, then slide the other bag over it. Secure the opening at the top with tape, and you are ready to swim.
2. Use a Waterproof Cast Cover:
You can find waterproof cast covers at most pharmacies specifically designed to keep casts dry while swimming or showering.
These covers fit over the cast and have adjustable straps that help secure them. They also provide a snug fit, so you don’t have to worry about water seeping in.
3. Tape the Cast:
Taping the cast with special waterproof casting tape can help to keep it dry while swimming. This method is often used for casts that cover just a part of the arm or leg, as it helps to create an airtight seal between the cast and the skin.
It’s important to ensure that you use waterproof tape as regular adhesive tape will not provide the same protection.
4. Use a Casting Cuff:
Casting cuffs are made from latex-free, flexible material and help to keep your cast dry while swimming or showering.
They come in various sizes to accommodate different body areas, and are easy to put on. Some even come with adjustable straps that help to keep them securely in place.
5. Wear a Swimming Sleeve:
You can opt for a swimming sleeve if you don’t want to use a waterproof cast cover or tape.
This sleeve type is made from waterproof material and is designed to provide a snug fit. They come in different sizes and can be easily put on or removed, making them ideal for swimming with a cast.
6. Use Plastic Wrap:
Using plastic wrap is another easy way to waterproof a cast while swimming or showering. Simply wrap the plastic wrap tightly around the cast and secure it with a few pieces of tape. This method does not provide as much protection as other methods, but it can still help to keep your cast dry.
Safety Precautions and Advice Before Getting Into Water With a Cast On:
1. Make sure you have a properly fitted and secure cast cover designed specifically for aquatic use.
2. Wear water shoes or sandals to prevent slipping on wet surfaces.
3. Test the temperature of the water before entering to avoid any sudden changes that may cause discomfort or pain.
4. Enter slowly into the pool or ocean, allowing your body to adjust gradually to the temperature.
5. Use flotation devices as needed for comfort and support, such as a life jacket or pool noodle.
6. Make sure that any sealant or other waterproofing materials used on the cast remain intact by inspecting it each time you use it in water.
7. Avoid any activities that may put excessive pressure or strain on the cast.
8. Do not submerge your cast completely underwater, as this could weaken its structure and lead to water damage.
What Are the Effects of Getting a Cast Wet?
Getting a cast wet can negatively affect the healing process and your overall health. Here are some of the consequences of getting a cast wet:
1. Delays in Healing: Moisture trapped under a cast can lead to skin irritation or infection. If water seeps through the cast, it can soften the underlying tissue, leading to impaired healing and prolonged recovery time.
2. Skin Damage: When the skin under the cast becomes wet, it can lead to maceration, which is a condition that causes the skin to become wrinkled, white, and soft, similar to when the skin has been in the bath or shower for a long time. Maceration can lead to skin breakdown, which could sometimes require additional surgery.
3. Foul Odor: When water gets trapped inside a cast, it can create a damp environment that fosters bacterial growth. This can cause an unpleasant odor that is discomforting to the patient and the people around them.
4. Discomfort or Itching: A wet cast can cause discomfort, pain, and itching, affecting a patient’s overall well-being. When wet, the padding inside the cast can also become matted down and create pressure points on the skin leading to pain and discomfort.
5. Damage to Cast Material: Most cast materials, especially plaster, are not designed to withstand moisture. When a cast gets wet, the material can break down leading to structural integrity problems. This could mean that the cast would have to be removed and replaced, which could lead to further delays in healing.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you swim with a cast cover?
Yes, you can swim with a cast cover. However, it’s important to make sure that the cast cover is properly fitted and secured in place before entering the water. Additionally, when choosing a cast cover for swimming, it’s best to opt for one designed specifically for aquatic use.
These covers are made from materials that will resist wear and tear much better than a standard cast cover, ensuring your safety while enjoying the water.
For extra protection and comfort, you may want to consider using a sealant to waterproof the cast cover or wearing flotation devices such as a life jacket or pool noodle. Finally, it’s important to avoid submerging your cast in water and to test the temperature of the water before entering it.
How long can you swim with a waterproof cast?
The length of time you can swim with a waterproof cast will depend on the type of cast cover you’re using and how much water is getting inside the cast.
Generally, swimming for extended periods (30 minutes or more) may cause moisture to accumulate in the cast and result in discomfort or skin irritation. It’s important to take breaks when swimming with a waterproof cast, particularly if you notice any pain or discomfort.
Additionally, it’s advisable to check the fit of the cast cover before and during swimming to ensure that it is properly secured.
Can I shower with a cast cover?
Yes, you can shower with a cast cover. However, it’s important to make sure that the cast cover is properly fitted and secured in place before entering the water.
Additionally, it’s best to use a waterproof sealant or plastic bag to seal the edges of your cast cover and protect it from getting wet.
Also, keep the cast cover away from the excessive flow of water and limit your time in the shower to reduce moisture exposure. Finally, be sure to dry off thoroughly after showering and replace the cast cover if necessary.
In conclusion, Waterproofing your cast is an essential step to ensure that you can enjoy swimming while keeping your body safe and healthy during the healing process. Use one of the many effective methods discussed here to protect the cast and hasten your healing time.
Following all precautions before entering the water with a cast is essential. Also, getting a cast wet can cause multiple issues that negatively impact a patient’s recuperation process.
With the proper care and attention to your cast, you can safely and comfortably enjoy water activities while recovering.
We hope this guide on how to waterproof a cast for swimming has provided you with all the information you need to waterproof your cast and safely enjoy swimming.
With any medical-related questions, please consult a qualified healthcare professional. Thank you for reading!