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  • 4 year old with broken leg

    My four year old broke his tibia yesterday, 2.5 weeks before our scheduled trip to Disneyland. He cant put wait on it for 6 weeks and will be in a cast from his foot to his thigh. He just crossed 40 inches and we had been waiting to schedule this trip so hewas tall enough to go on RSR, Splash, etc. We live in Indiana and cant really reschedule; any guidance on 1) How well does the DAS work for bypassing lines so he can stay in stroller as long as possible? 2) Will he easily be able to sit in ride vehicles? Should we cancel? He and his brother will be devastated. Help!

  • #2
    I would call the resort, explain your situation and see if they can connect you to someone who can give you guidance. Although I believe strollers aren’t allowed in lines, since you’ll be using yours as basically a wheelchair, I assume that will be fine to stay in line for most DCA rides. Thank God you missed our 108 degree day. Casts are no fun, especially in the summer.

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    • #3
      With DAS, he should be able to stay in the stroller until he has to switch to the ride. On DCA side, all lines are designed to allow wheelchair access. I'm not sure, however, if your stroller is really big or doublewide. You may want to consider renting a child's wheelchair. Disney's wheelchair rentals are all adult sized. On the Disneyland side, you will make a reservation to come back at each location, much like a fastpass, so you don't have to stay in line. When you come back they will direct you past the lines to a place you can board the vehicle. I would say that Splash is out for him, but RSRs should be able to accommodate him. Most rides should be able to accommodate him.

      I'm sorry about this hiccup in your plans. It's no fun to have such big wonderful plans and then to break a bone. That said, I still think you can have a wonderful time and I know Disney will do what they can to help make your trip still be magical.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bpd5591 View Post
        My four year old broke his tibia yesterday, 2.5 weeks before our scheduled trip to Disneyland. He cant put wait on it for 6 weeks and will be in a cast from his foot to his thigh. He just crossed 40 inches and we had been waiting to schedule this trip so hewas tall enough to go on RSR, Splash, etc. We live in Indiana and cant really reschedule; any guidance on 1) How well does the DAS work for bypassing lines so he can stay in stroller as long as possible? 2) Will he easily be able to sit in ride vehicles? Should we cancel? He and his brother will be devastated. Help!
        You need to go to City Hall or the Chamber of Commerce and they will tag the stroller as a wheelchair. You will not need to get a DAS. His cast will bypass the lines that are not wheelchair friendly. Sometimes you will get a return time, others you will just bpass the line that is not usable. I highly suggest MaxPass.

        The issue will be his inability to put weight on it. I totally understand because my daughter broke both the tib and fib in her left leg, and tore the tendon in her right, so was non-weight bearing on both legs. We did DIsneyland twice during this. That said, rides were very limited for her. As far as barely making the 40" marker, they will need to measure him. Will he have a problem putting weight on one leg and making it? They will need to measure at each station.

        Racers - You will use the Handicap entrance. It might take a little longer, but the car is brought off the track, and you will have plenty of time to load. Should the ride go down, and you have to walk off the ride (happens, but rarely) someone from your family will need to carry him off the ride.

        Soarin' - Use the regular line, it is HA friendly.

        Guardians - I would be cautious. Too often we use our legs to brace for this. I don't think I would try this ride.

        Space Mountain - They have a rocket they pull off the track to load. It will be fairly easy.

        Big Thunder - I would skip this one. You have a very limited time to load before the ride will cascade. I believe you have about 20 seconds to load or unload. Add to it, it will really throw his leg around.

        Splash - Should be doable. Reminder for whoever is lifting him, he is below your knees and you will need to dead lift him up. (We have done all these rides with a disabled adult and learned quickly how to get someone out fast.)

        Pirates - While no height requirement, it is a difficult lift. We do it with one person on the dock and one in the boat lifting up to the dock person.

        My bigger concern is for his leg. And I may be over concerned. My daughter's leg required surgery with 2 plates and 13 pins/screws. Travel was difficult for her. We traveled by car and she was able to elevate during the ride to prevent the swelling during the drive. She usually needed to have her leg elevated a couple hours a day, plus the night.

        In case you need it UC Irvine Medical center is a short drive away. Go south on Harbor to Chapman, east on CHapman out to the 5. It is just before the I-5. Just in case you need a replacement cast (my daughter's cast had to be changed due to swelling) or other issues with it.

        If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

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        • #5
          All of the posters above have given good valuable advice. Another I would consider is asking the CMs at each attraction if you can look at the ride vehicle before you get in the line to see how your son will have to sit, and whether his cast can be supported. Pirates, Matterhorn, small world, Mansion, Peter Pan and Splash he should be fine for because those are either bench seats or offer long enough leg spaces to give him room to shift and sit. However, a ride that has a seat with your legs having to bend at the knees and go down instead of out may not be possible for him in his cast. Big Thunder and Space Mountain come to mind. He may have to miss those rides, which is a bummer, but safety is the priority and the wrong ride could aggravate his injury or cause him to be in pain all day.

          Good luck. I believe that all things considered, your family will still have a great trip, and he will still have a great time!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by UltimateSurvivor View Post
            All of the posters above have given good valuable advice. Another I would consider is asking the CMs at each attraction if you can look at the ride vehicle before you get in the line to see how your son will have to sit, and whether his cast can be supported. Pirates, Matterhorn, small world, Mansion, Peter Pan and Splash he should be fine for because those are either bench seats or offer long enough leg spaces to give him room to shift and sit. However, a ride that has a seat with your legs having to bend at the knees and go down instead of out may not be possible for him in his cast. Big Thunder and Space Mountain come to mind. He may have to miss those rides, which is a bummer, but safety is the priority and the wrong ride could aggravate his injury or cause him to be in pain all day.

            Good luck. I believe that all things considered, your family will still have a great trip, and he will still have a great time!
            This is excellent advise. I mentally didn't think about the straight leg. I don't think he will be able to do Racers, or if he does, it will be tight. Splash might work, if you put him in one of the center seats with his sibling in front of him so he can straighten out his leg. HOWEVER, he will get wet, so now is the time to do the advertisement for a cover for his leg. https://www.walmart.com/ip/DRYPro-Wa...&wl13=&veh=sem

            These work GREAT for showering and for times when the cast might get wet. The floor of the log in Splash will be wet, so he shouldn't put his foot on the floor without some protection. And water will enter the log during the ride from the top.

            If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

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            • #7
              May want ask the four year , Doctor how he/she feel.......I would be cautious
              Any case, I wish you all the best.......
              Soaring like an EAGLE !

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Malcon10t View Post
                HOWEVER, he will get wet, so now is the time to do the advertisement for a cover for his leg. https://www.walmart.com/ip/DRYPro-Wa...&wl13=&veh=sem

                These work GREAT for showering and for times when the cast might get wet. The floor of the log in Splash will be wet, so he shouldn't put his foot on the floor without some protection. And water will enter the log during the ride from the top.
                Excellent Call! I was gong to recommend a covering for the cast on any ride where his leg may get wet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mr. P View Post

                  Excellent Call! I was gong to recommend a covering for the cast on any ride where his leg may get wet.
                  We went thru a few of them when my daughter had her legs in casts. But they were so worth it!
                  If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Malcon10t View Post
                    You need to go to City Hall or the Chamber of Commerce and they will tag the stroller as a wheelchair. You will not need to get a DAS.
                    Actually we didn't have to go to City Hall, we just went to one of the information booths (set up around the resort in different locations) and they accommodated us with no questions asked (with a red tag). And my 7 yo had just gotten his cast off a week earlier, but was in no shape to stand or walk.

                    My only advice is to make sure that your child is comfortable getting into, riding in and getting out of the ride vehicles. Sometimes kids initial enthusiasm clouds their judgment on what they are capable of.

                    Enjoy your trip!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bingocimo View Post
                      My only advice is to make sure that your child is comfortable getting into, riding in and getting out of the ride vehicles. Sometimes kids initial enthusiasm clouds their judgment on what they are capable of.

                      Enjoy your trip!
                      Just want to reiterate this. They don't realize how something might hurt until it is over.
                      If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

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                      • #12
                        TBH, and I know you live in Indiana and can't easily reschedule, but if I couldn't reschedule I'd probably cancel and set the money aside to go at a later date, maybe even next year. If you booked through Disney they're really super understanding about these things.

                        I shattered my ankle and was non-weight bearing for 3 months. It's not just the worry about accidentally putting weight on it, but also the fact that DL is a crowded place and the likelihood that he'll be jostled and/or have his leg bumped by the crowds.
                        "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

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                        • #13
                          When my daughter was almost 7, she broke her tibia. We had Halloween week booked at Disneyland. We were to drive down and back from Vancouver.

                          What the hell were we supposed to do? Surely we needed to cancel our trip! She would be miserable, we would be miserable, EVERYONE would be miserable, Right?

                          we took the gamble, and kept our trip as planned. We visited the Canadian Red Cross for a free wheelchair to use during our vacation.

                          in a nutshell: somehow, our Disneyland experience was quite ENHANCED by our daughter’s broken leg.

                          My daughter’s pink cast was like a signal to DL staff: treat this kid like GOLD, every moment.

                          -No waiting in lines, for our entire party
                          -riding several times consecutively, because it’s easier for the injured not to get up and down over and over. we rode grizzly river 4x in a row. Same with splash.
                          -ON Halloween day, escorted to front of haunted mansion line every single time.
                          -on water rides, staff offered to waterproof her cast with plastic bags.
                          -priority treatment at mickeys Halloween party, and at most rides and establishments

                          I was STUNNED with the amount of love shown to our daughter. It was our most memorable visit by far. You will have a blast. Just be sure to have a wheelchair or something, to keep everyone comfortable.

                          the other commenters here have a good point about boarding safely. However, this was not an issue on any attraction. We just helped her. Disabled guests are quite well accommodated in the way these rides are designed. The only attraction we didn’t use was that climbing adventure park in California adventure. I really think you’ll have minimal issues, as long as you keep your child comfortable, and don’t show any frustration with the slight inconvenience of a broken leg. Enjoy!


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CanaDuh View Post
                            in a nutshell: somehow, our Disneyland experience was quite ENHANCED by our daughter’s broken leg.

                            My daughter’s pink cast was like a signal to DL staff: treat this kid like GOLD, every moment.

                            -No waiting in lines, for our entire party
                            -riding several times consecutively, because it’s easier for the injured not to get up and down over and over. we rode grizzly river 4x in a row. Same with splash.
                            -ON Halloween day, escorted to front of haunted mansion line every single time.
                            -on water rides, staff offered to waterproof her cast with plastic bags.
                            -priority treatment at mickeys Halloween party, and at most rides and establishments
                            !
                            I would take this with a grain of salt as the rules have changed significantly over the last 5-8 years due to abuse. (I know someone who would have his child wear a walking boot to DIsneyland and rent a wheelchair to get the above type of advantages.) If it happens, fantastic, but please don't hope for this. Add to it, a full length leg cast to the thigh is going to have a issues with rides that require the leg to bend.
                            If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Malcon10t View Post
                              I would take this with a grain of salt as the rules have changed significantly over the last 5-8 years due to abuse. (I know someone who would have his child wear a walking boot to DIsneyland and rent a wheelchair to get the above type of advantages.) If it happens, fantastic, but please don't hope for this. Add to it, a full length leg cast to the thigh is going to have a issues with rides that require the leg to bend.
                              I agree. This is a good post to show that a fun time despite a setback is possible, but OP and his family should be prepared to face some significant obstacles and can minimize the obstacles by smart planning.

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                              • #16
                                I would be cautious of allowing him to do too much as having his legs sliding around and smacking the side of the coaster on many of the rides they have mentioned could be very painful and and possibly induce swelling leading to more sever problems. His leg will have atrophied and the weight of the cast will make him less likely to be able to keep his leg under control. I would ask his Dr. first their opinion and be prepared for the Doctor to recommend cancelling. It would be a shame for something to cause complications. Cancelling and paying any fees and rescheduling to a time when everyone can enjoy the park in full health might be the best bet over forcing the issue. As a life long skateboarder I have known a lot of people who now walk with a limp or have a wonky finger or wrist etc. because they rushed to get back into action or did not yield to their doctors advice from various broken bones and torn ligaments etc. If the Doctor says no worries he can go then go for it.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Malcon10t View Post
                                  I would take this with a grain of salt as the rules have changed significantly over the last 5-8 years due to abuse. (I know someone who would have his child wear a walking boot to DIsneyland and rent a wheelchair to get the above type of advantages.) If it happens, fantastic, but please don't hope for this. Add to it, a full length leg cast to the thigh is going to have a issues with rides that require the leg to bend.
                                  Huh? lol

                                  We went like 2-3 yrs ago. We didn't hope/expect anything, thought the cast would ruin our trip. I'm not sure why you're over-analyzing this, lol. Have you visited with a child in a cast? Cuz I have, and it turned out amazing.

                                  FYI, traveling with a child in a cast is not an "advantage"; It's a disability. Disneyland cast members simply step things up so that my child (every child), has a terrific time.


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                                  • #18
                                    OP: pay no attention to the paranoid members commenting here. I take my family every 3 years or so, and we've had an awesome time every time. The time we went with a kid in a cast was probably the best time we had, to be honest.

                                    Casts are a temporary eco-skeleton. If riding a roller coaster caused further damage to those with broken limbs in a cast, Disney would disallow injured riders from boarding. Seriously, has anyone here taken a kid in a cast to Disneyland but me? Lol

                                    I'm telling you that it is SAFE, relatively EASY, and FUN. As long as you and staff help the child in and out of rides, and as long as your child has a wheelchair of some sort, there is almost no change in the amount of fun for the whole family. If there were any remarkable disadvantage, I would know, and I would tell you. All I know is: Haunted Mansion, ON Hallowe'en week: front of line every time. She rode EVERYTHING, I don't remember any attraction out of reach, except for the climby adventure playground in California Adventure. Staff will slow down, or even stop the ride, for safe boarding and exiting. Don't be paranoid that people will "think you're faking". That's BS. If they do, I'd be surprised. We had a great time, and I'm willing to swallow my words and shut up if anyone has any contrary experiences to report.


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                                    • #19
                                      Everyone here means well, whatever their advice; no one's right or wrong. There is some great advice here about particulars IF you decide to go. Your very specific questions suggest you are wisely looking for information about how to navigate the park if you go, not asking whether you should or shouldn't go. If someone's recommending caution, they're not paranoid any more than someone who's encouraging is a daredevil. Disneyland is, without a doubt, a challenging environment, no matter what your health. So you're smart to do some advance recon.

                                      None of the scenarios you read about here, whether positive or negative, are an apples-to-apples comparison to your situation. Your son's injury is unique and your family is unique. All anyone here can tell you for sure is how their experience went -- that THEIR visit was safe, easy and fun or that it was painful and difficult. A 4 year-old vs. a 7 year-old is a big difference developmentally; a half-leg cast vs. a full leg cast is a big difference. It doesn't make anyone's point of view useless, but they're only relevant to your situation up to a point.

                                      The main thing I'd say is have a talk with everyone before you go about expectations. So if it turns out your son is uncomfortable or in pain or frustrated by what he can't do, you've plotted out some alternatives in advance -- going to the movies in Downtown Disney, sitting by the pool, taking some drawing classes in the Animation Academy in DCA. Don't put yourself (and your son) in the position of feeling like the success or failure of the whole trip is on his willingness to tough it out. Anticipate that he'll be able to do VERY LITTLE so that everything he gets to do is a bonus, vs a whole list of failures. And if his brother is going to get to do things he's not, perhaps have some special things already set up, so he's not feeling like he's missing out (mother/son lunch at the Blue Bayou?).

                                      I feel for you and your family. Wishing you the best possible outcome, and your son a speedy and smooth healing!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by CanaDuh View Post
                                        Have you visited with a child in a cast? Cuz I have, and it turned out amazing.
                                        Yes, we have. About once a year/18 mos someone has broken something. And as recently as last Nov. We use the return times and wheelchairs and while we had a great time, there were issues with pain, and having the cast bumped And while a cast is a form of a skeleton, there can still be movement and the cast getting hit can cause pain, weight of the cast as the muscle atrophies can cause pain, and if there are meds involved for pain, many rides can make them feel nauseous. And a straight leg cast is harder to maneuver. I'm glad your daughter got to ride everything front of the line, and it was fantastic. And I am glad her break healed quickly.

                                        To the OP, some rides, the alternative entrance may be too small for his stroller, such as Peter Pan, and you will get a return time. If his stroller is too large to go up the walkway, they will have a smaller wheelchair he can transfer to to go up the exit and they can fold it while he rides, and it will be there to bring him back out. Some may say "Just carry him", but those casts get heavy thru the day. It is one of the few rides I can think of that is normally smaller than others.

                                        Use blankets to support/pad his leg. You might also bring Sharpies to have characters sign his cast. Be advised, some will and some won't. And you might ask your doctor where the cast will be cut and make marks there so characters don't sign an area that will be cut.

                                        Oh, and if he needs a break from the park, you can always head to First Aid. In Disneyland it is located by Plaza Inn on Main St. In DCA it is by the Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista St. You can go there even if he just needs to lie down for a few or elevate the leg for a bit, or if you just need more space for him to use the bathroom. I know how those long leg casts can be. I hope you have a great trip, even if he can't do everything.
                                        If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

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