Caring for a Child in a Spica Cast

The spica cast may be more difficult on the parents than on the child, who often gets used to it quickly. Getting comfortable caring for a child in a spica cast is an ongoing process.

Here are some of the key points to follow:

  • Keep the cast dry.
  • The edges of the cast should be padded as needed to prevent skin irritation.
  • Make sure your child has enough room in the cast. You should be able to put one finger between the child's skin and the cast around each thigh from the opening that is cut out in the groin region.
  • When changing the child's diaper, take a small plastic bag and cut the closed end to make a cylinder. Push the edge at one end of the bag through the groin opening and tuck it under the cast before applying a diaper. In this way, there will be a plastic barrier to protect the cast if the diaper fails.

Being in a spica cast does not have any effect on development, including when and how well a child will walk, and muscle strength.

The cast will get soiled — that's life, and it's OK.

Ask your child's doctor about any questions and concerns you have.


Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

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UCSF Clinics & Centers


Orthopedic Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor, 5B
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2967
Fax: (415) 353-2299

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