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Arm Immobilizers ("No-No"s, Pediactric Splints)

An arm immobilizer prevents bending at the elbow.  These are commercially available and cost around $40-$60.  They can be used for many things - to prevent movement of an injured arm or prevent further damage to a surgery site.  In this use, it is similar to the "Cone of Shame" or "Elizabethan collar" worn by pets to prevent them chewing the stitches.  It is a commercial product that is easy to replicate in cheap materials.

One of my daughters had oral surgery and had the bad habit of sucking on her fingers - a bad combination because of damage to the stitches, higher risk of infection, etc.  She had to wear "No-No" (brand name) for several weeks while it healed.  This is where I first saw the idea.  At some point, all we had to do was threaten her with "Do you need your NoNos?" and she would keep her hands out; she still wore them while she was sleeping.

Yesterday (holiday weekend) D1 pushed D3 down the steps.  D3 spent four hours at the hospital emergency room getting her lip sewed back together.  We even had them put a layer of super glue on top to protect the stitches.  By the time we got home, D3 had pulled two of three stitches out (too young to understand long-term consequences).  This meant turning around and driving right back to the ER for another four hours of fun (she got the last stitch out before we made it back to the ER).    This put the return considerably after midnight; and any store that might carry pediatric arm immobilizers was long closed.  When minutes count, two day shipping isn't much of an option.  Spending more money wasn't attractive either, as we have just spent $250 on our ER visit co-pay.

These "Arm Immobilizers" were made from stuff I had laying around; I didn't buy anything for this project.  They get the job done; D3 can't bend her elbows.  This means that she can't get her fingers to her face. Like the commercial model, they are easily removed so that she can go to the toilet or feed herself while being supervised.  Total cost for this build would be about $4 (mainly for the Velcro, most of which will be reused).
 
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thematthatter10 months ago
We still have those from my daughters surgery. They sweat do much we didn't keep them on her that long.
shadowwynd (author)  thematthatter10 months ago
We still have the ones from D2's surgery.... somewhere. We've moved since the surgery and midnight is a lousy time to start rooting through boxes and closets.

I used the porous shelf liner (rather than solid) specifically to try and cut down on the sweating issue.
valkgurl10 months ago
Aw the poor little thing! But of course--we do what we have to do to keep our kids safe! The Boy Scouts (I think!) actually have a plan for cardboard leg splints made from a similar method. I know someone that had to make one and used cardbaord and duct tape and the ER was very impressed!

Kudos too for shipping off an idea to help a child far away.

I wonder if you happened to have some PVC if that might not work longer term --sanded edges and covered perhaps.
shadowwynd (author)  valkgurl10 months ago
PVC should work if suitably sized and padded. The commercial ones are molded plastic with cloth padding. The cardboard ones just have to make it five days before the stitches are removed.

Yes, the scouts have a similar method - and even some that involve tying the limb down with jeans and a tree branch if nothing else is available as a splint.
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