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Caring for a child in a von Rosen splint fact sheet

Caring for a child in a von Rosen splint

A von Rosen splint is used to treat unstable hip joints caused by congenital dysplasia. The splint is made of aluminium and covered with ethylene vinyl acetate, a soft, non- allergic and waterproof foam. A von Rosen splints are usually remains in place for approximately 8–12 weeks (or for as long as the doctor recommends).

Positioning

  • The splint must remain on your child 24 hours a day—do not remove it for any reason.
  • To lay your child on their side, support them with a rolled-up towel or blanket. You must supervise your child at all times while they are in this position in case they roll over.
  • Regularly check your child’s lower leg to ensure the toes are pink and the leg looks comfortable without excess pressure.
  • If breastfeeding your baby, check that there is not too much pressure on the lower leg, which can cause poor circulation to the foot.

Caring for the splint

  • Cleaning a von Rosen splint is easy — it should be cleaned as often as your child.
  • Do not use creams or oils on the skin near the splint.

Sleeping

  • Safe sleep guidelines apply to babies in von Rosen splints. For more information, see: www.sidsandkids.org/safe-sleeping/
  • If in doubt, it is important to speak to your treating doctor before going home.

Bathing and hygiene

  • You can bathe your child with the splint on, but no more than twice a week. On other days, give them a sponge bath. The splint will absorb water, so be sure to towel dry your child’s skin and the splint. The corner of the towel can be wrapped around parts of the splint and squeezed between your fingers to try to remove any excess moisture. Do not use a hairdryer.
  • Your child will develop red areas on their shoulders, thighs and buttocks. This should not be a problem and will disappear as your baby’s skin adjusts to the position of the splint.
  • To weigh your child, do it before a bath to avoid the extra weight of the water absorbed by the splint. The weight of the splint will be written on the label, allowing you to subtract the weight of the splint from the scale’s display for an accurate weight.

Contact us immediately if you notice

  • the splint appears too tight
  • a rash developing
  • you are unable to dry the skin.

Contact us

Orthopaedic Outpatients Department
Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital
Level 1, 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane
t: 07 3068 2579
t: 07 3068 1111 (general enquiries)
e: chq_1borthoOPD@health.qld.gov.au

In an emergency, always call 000.

If it’s not an emergency but you have any concerns, contact 13 Health (13 43 2584). Qualified staff will give you advice on who to talk to and how quickly you should do it. You can phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Resource No: FS081. Developed by Orthopaedics Unit. Updated: March 2o15. All information contained in this sheet has been supplied by qualified professionals as a guideline for care only. Seek medical advice, as appropriate, for concerns regarding your child’s health.

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