I was shopping in the Joanna Gaines aisle at Target when my husband called me with the news. Our four-year-old son had broken his tibia and he would be in a hard cast for a minimum of four weeks. Did I mention this was the week before school ended for the summer? I did what every mother would do at Target once presented with the knowledge that her child would be immobile for four straight weeks. I Googled, “What to do when your child breaks his leg?” Here is a list of a few things mothers that had gone before me told me to buy as well as some items I discovered myself through our own healing journey.
Waterproof Cast Cover
Our son broke his tibia the week before Memorial Day weekend. Talk about bad luck. Waterproof plaster casts do exist, but in his tibia fracture case, it wasn’t an option. If we couldn’t have a waterproof cast, we opted for the next best thing, a waterproof cast cover. There are oodles of brands out there ranging in prices and size. Make sure to measure before ordering and find one that is suitable for children. The cover was stifling at times, but he was able to enjoy some fun pool time with his buddies.
A Breakfast Tray
This was the best idea yet and it’s the first thing I share with moms who are mending broken bones. It doubled as our mealtime tray and LEGO building tray. He even took his private coding and robotics lessons on that tray. Long since his cast has come off, he still asks me if he can eat on the couch with that tray.
Portable Fan and Cooling Towel
Do you remember when we’d break a bone back in the day? I’m pretty sure I scratched down in there with a pencil. That is a big no-no. Instead you can use the cool setting on the hair dryer or, if on the go, a portable fan! The hair dryer works better, but when in a pinch always carry a fan for those toasty summer days.
We had just started our first T-ball league when the break happened. He made the choice to continue to sit on the bench to cheer on his teammates, but I knew it wasn’t going to be comfortable for him. One Google search later and I found the most amazing towels that cool the body 15-30 degrees and lasting up to 4 hours. They’re called Frogg Toggs and I swear by them.
A Knee Scooter
There is no difference between carrying an immobile 40 pound four-year-old with a leg that won’t bend and an awkward sack of potatoes. When you have other children, even the immobile babe has to come along for the ride. Groceries, events, activities. The show must go on. When my mom arms had had enough, I caved and got the Knee Rover, the only scooter I could find made solely for a child and or small adult. We put in on the lowest setting and he was back in action, whipping around corners in no time.
A Good Perspective
When we heard the news of his break, I had complete tunnel vision. I was in shock. It was the first time something had happened to my firstborn that I couldn’t fix in that instant for him. Remember this: Children are the most resilient humans. Stronger every day was our mantra and to this day while still strengthening that leg that atrophied to half its size, we continue to say, “Stronger every day.”