Instant Ice Packs are now seen as an essential item in any first aid kit and because of their multipurpose use they are perfect for treating soft tissue injuries, burns and general bumps and bruises. Ideal for use on all soft tissue injuries and general aches and pains.
Cooling an injury, cold therapy, is useful for the acute stages of sprain and strain injury, helping reduce pain and swelling. It forms part of RICE treatment - Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. There are two types of compress: ice packs, and cold pads, which can be made from dampening a cloth with cold water.
How to treat strains and sprains
Injuries to the soft structure around the bones and joints are commonly called strains and sprains. They are often associated with sports activities.
Strains and sprains
Signs and symptoms of sprains and strains
- pain and tenderness
- swelling and bruising
- difficulty moving the injured area, especially if it’s a joint.
What to do
Resting a strain or sprain
R – Rest the injured part. Help them to sit or lie down and support the injured part in a comfortable position, raised if possible.
Putting ice on a strain or sprain
I – Apply an Ice pack. Try and cool the area by putting an ice pack, or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a tea towel against the injury. This can help to reduce the swelling, pain and bruising.
Supporting a strain or sprain
C – Provide Comfortable support. Leave the ice pack in place or wrap a layer of soft padding around the area, such as cotton wool. Secure the ice pack or soft padding with a conforming bandage that covers the area to the next joint, but make sure it’s not too tight by checking their circulation every 10 minutes. To do this, press a nail or skin beyond the injured area for five seconds until it goes pale. If the colour doesn’t come back within two seconds, loosen and reapply the bandage.
Elevating a strain or sprain
E - Elevate the injured part. Support the injury in an elevated position to help minimise swelling and bruising. You could do this by placing pillows underneath the injured part.
First aid - call 999 or 112 for emergency help
After using the RICE method, advise the casualty to rest. If the pain is severe or they cannot move the injured part, seek medical advice.
An instant cold pack consists of two bags; one containing water, inside a bag containing ammonium nitrate, calcium ammonium nitrate or urea. When the inner bag of water is broken by squeezing the package, it dissolves the solid in an endothermic reaction.
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