Casts & Kids: 10 Things to do with a Cast in Miami


Casts & Kids: 10 Things to do with a Cast in Miami Kathy Safi Contributor Miami Moms Blog

My son broke his arm during the last month of our unforgiving summer. Four weeks in a cast later, we came out of the experience with some tips for having a kid with a cast in Miami. 

A broken arm doesn’t always look broken. Our son’s arm was straight and had no visible bruising. He didn’t complain about it hurting terribly. It wasn’t until we observed that he had lost full mobility of his arm— he couldn’t touch his shoulder— that we realized we needed to get it checked out as something more than just your average fall. When in doubt, head to the Emergency Room. 

Be prepared for major mom guilt and sympathy pains. If your child has ever been injured or seriously ill, you understand that the amount of pain and concern you feel as a parent is all-encompassing.  Even though his break was purely accidental and no fault of our own, the guilt over his broken arm bore down on me with the weight of a Botero sculpture. For two nights after he got his cast I could hardly sleep and woke up with nightmares of my own arm being broken. Be kind to yourself. 

Re-learning everyday tasks. We kept our son home the first couple of days from school and it was one of the best things we did. You take for granted how many things you do in a day that require the use of both hands. My son’s arm was in a sling, and we quickly found that he had difficulty writing or coloring because he couldn’t lift his arm to hold the paper in place while he worked. We requested that his teacher help by taping his paper to his desk so he could complete his schoolwork. After we discovered this difficulty, I had him go through the tasks he would need to complete in his daily routine, like opening his lunch box or going to the restroom, and made accommodations as needed to help him cope.

Bring a cast cover wherever you go. I carried ours around religiously and had it at the ready for any unexpected South Florida downpours, messy science experiments, and playground dirt digging. A child size cast cover like this does the trick. The only time I forgot the cast cover was during our recent trip to Burr’s Berry Farm…. and we may or may not have found two pieces of corn inside his cast when they cut it off. 

The itching. Oh, the itching. The first two days my son was going bonkers over the itching in his cast and I was terrified that the next four weeks would be torture on all of us.  The hospital paperwork advised us not to stick anything down the cast to scratch the itch and to avoid putting any powders or creams in the cast to relieve the itching. A hairdryer set on the cool setting was supposed to help when it was blown through the cast but didn’t do much. In the end, we found that avoiding situations where my son would get hot and sweaty was the best way to avoid an itchy cast.

Easier said than done in a city where just getting buckled into your car seat is enough to make you sweat through your pull-ups. Add on top of this a ban on swimming and any activity where your child may fall and you have one angry hot mess of a kid on your hands. Here are some of our go-to activities for a kid with a cast in Miami.

10 Things to do with a Cast in Miami 

  1. Museums. The Frost Science Museum was one of our favorite places to visit during this time. Plenty of shade and indoor exhibits to escape the heat and the itch. The Miami Children’s Museum has lots of room to play and explore, and the Miami History Museum has an interactive children’s floor. Check your library for free passes to our great Miami museums. 
  2. Learn a new board game. This was the perfect time to start mastering classics that we hadn’t played before like Checkers and Uno. 
  3. Ice cream. An old fashion banana split at Wall’s, a unique nitrogen concoction at ChillN, a dollar cone from McDonald’s… ice cream makes everything better. 
  4. Legos. Pick up a book of Lego building ideas from the library if you need some inspiration.
  5. Art. Fresh new markers and crayons… because there are few things more satisfying than a pointy, unbroken crayon. Or maybe you could take an art class at Miami Fine Arts Academy? 
  6. A new puzzle. Look into trading with a friend or check out the Dollar Tree for cheap finds. 
  7. Science experiments… baking soda and lemons, Coke and Mentos, and one of our favorites: making a Wormery.
  8. Play doctor. We picked up books from the library on bones and anatomy and found great videos on YouTube on the science behind the healing of bones. 
  9. Libraries. Take this time to check out a new story time, or visit a library with a great children’s section like the West Dade Regional branch. 
  10. Playdates with friends. If you can’t go to the park with friends, bring the friends to you!