is a condition in which the breastbone (sternum) of the chest juts out. This happens
because several ribs and the breastbone grow abnormally.
Health care providers sometimes suggest that kids who are still growing wear a
brace to help correct pectus carinatum.
What Is a Pectus Carinatum Brace?
It's a lightweight brace that's custom-made for a child. It wraps around the chest
and puts pressure on the front part of the chest that sticks out.
How Does a Pectus Carinatum Brace Work?
Similar to how braces
realign teeth, a chest brace will push the breastbone back to a normal position. Your
child's health care provider will see your child regularly and adjust the pressure
of the brace so it can work but still be comfortable.
How Long Do Kids Need to Wear the Brace?
Most kids will wear a brace for 6 months to a year, though some will need one for
longer. They usually can remove it for sports, showering, and other activities, but
usually must wear it for 8 hours a day or longer.
Help your child wear the brace exactly as recommended by your health care provider.
This will help your child get the best results from it.
Are There Any Problems With Wearing a Brace?
Usually, wearing the brace causes no problems. Occasionally, the skin under it
can get a little red and irritated. This usually goes away on its own, but call your
health care provider's office if:
The redness doesn't go away within 30 minutes after taking off the brace.
Your child develops blisters, sores, or a rash under the brace.
Is Bracing Painful?
Some kids can have mild discomfort after having the brace pressure adjusted. If
your child is uncomfortable and your health care provider says it's OK, you can give
(such as Tylenol® or a store brand) OR ibuprofen (such as Advil®, Motrin®,
or a store brand) as directed.
What If My Child Won't Wear It?
Most kids do well with wearing their brace. The brace usually isn't noticeable
under a shirt. But if your child struggles, try to be understanding. Work together
to come up with solutions and incentives to get your child to wear the brace. And
agree on the occasional "night off" for important events, like a dance or beach day.
Your care team is a resource — for you and your child. They are there to
answer any questions and help you and your child get through the challenges of bracing
and achieve the best result.