I’ve always daydreamed about blogging so am just loving all that in entails. Its such a satisfying means of expression for me. Before Stella and DDH, I yearned to blog about beauty rituals and style icons. Oh, how times have changed! I still love reading other blogger’s product reviews for drug store foundations and the latest hair styling tools but that’s just not me right now. I eat, sleep, and breathe hip dysplasia. So, here’s my product review for a commonly voted DDH must-have.
I purchased my CastCooler on Amazon for $44. I read on dozens of online DDH threads that it was worth the investment and worked wonders on a urine soaked cast. When I saw the price though, I have to admit I was shocked. Almost $50 for a household vacuum attachment seemed high to me. This viewpoint remained the same when I opened the package to find a simple piece of plastic.
The package arrived just days after ordering which was nice. The product’s box included a sheet of directions and a CastCooler brochure. The main images on their banding feature arm and leg casts. I suppose they are trying to appeal to the greater public which is smart as there are far more children in casts from broken limbs than from DDH. On the back of the brochure, however, they do feature a child in a Spica and acknowledge how handy their product can be for a soiled cast. They also claim that the CastCooler can prevent skin break down. This a major concern for all Spica parents so if true, this is huge.
The CastCooler attaches to the suction tube on an average vacuum and is to be wrapped around different parts of the cast. There are dotted lines on the wrap-part of the product and the directions advise to trim this based on the size of the cast. My daughter is small so I trimmed mine to the smallest possible size. It now fits perfectly around each leg.
When we used the CastCooler for the first time, I was unsure of what to expect. Hooking this loud machine up to a 3-month-old who has already experienced some traumatizing situations could have gone either way. She loves it. Her eyes lit up and she made the strangest face. It was obvious the cooling sensation felt amazing underneath of the cast. As for the noise from the vacuum, she loves that too. She talks and yells over it every night. CastCooling has become a joyous time of day in our household.
We have had a few urine leaks in our Spica and the CastCooler dried it up in minutes. Our babe is also sweaty by nature so I assume the CastCooler keeps the Spica dry and comfortable in general (you never really know whats going on under there). As for skin break-down, I check the cast regularly with a flashlight and haven’t seen any signs of such.
Some say that the CastCooler is ineffective on Goretex (water proof) cast liners. I believe our cast has Goretex up the back but not on the legs. Either way, I still use the CastCooler on all areas of the cast. The Goretex is still covered by cotton on the inside for comfort against the skin. In areas where I suspect Goretex is lined in the cast, I use the cooler on the edges so the suction is pulling air our from between the cast and body. Even if ineffective, I sleep better at night knowing I am doing everything I possibly can to keep her cast comfortable.
I also use the CastCooler to keep the outside, fiberglass portion of the cast dry. Babies can be messy so I regularly wipe down the outside of the cast with a wet rag then dry with the CastCooler.
Overall, I would say that this product IS worth the money. We have used it every day for the past 6 weeks. Given our constant, long term use; $50 isn’t too bad for a one-time cost. If your child is in or going into a Spica cast, I would definitely recommend this product. You cant get it in stores, so order before hand as it takes days to be delivered. You don’t want to be SOL if there is an accident (and there will be!).