An ice bandage is a bandage that uses cold temperature to help heal injuries. One of the key functions of an ice bandage is to help reduce swelling. In some cases, the bandage is simply a packet of cold material that is wrapped about the injured body part. In other cases, it is part of the bandage and is designed to fit against the body. It is quite common for an ice bandage to be used to treat a sports-related injury.
There are a number of kinds of ice bandages on the market. Some must be placed in a refrigerator or freezer to cool before being used. Others can create a cooling sensation on the offending body part without being cooled in a refrigerator. These are the key differences in the technology of an ice bandage. The key differences in the design of an ice bandage have to do with the ways in which they close. Some brands close using Velcro®, others close with a clasp.
It make good sense to keep an ice bandage on hand in a home first aid kit to deal with injuries that involve swelling. The types of injuries that can require the application of a cold compress include sprains, strained muscles, injuries that are the result of overuse, and bruises. By reducing swelling, an ice bandage can help to reduce pain. Furthermore, the low temperature can help to numb the area.
As many of the injuries that require cold compress treatment are related to physical activity, it is especially useful to keep an ice bandage in a home first aid kit if the home includes children or adults who are very active. An ice bandage is also a good item to keep in one's mobile first aid kit, especially if that kit is taken on outings that include hiking, camping, long distance running, biking, and similar physical activities. They can also be brought to kids' sports games to have on hand in case of injury.
Although these kinds of bandages are very useful to have on hand, it is important to have a medical professional address any injuries that are moderate to severe. Also, when in doubt about whether to use a warm compress or cold compress, consult a doctor or nurse before doing either. Using the wrong temperature can exacerbate the problem and increase the severity of an injury.