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How to know when to use a cold pack

Injuries like sprains or bruises can usually be treated with cold. Cold compresses are ideal for different types of injuries and workers should know when to use a cold compress if a co-worker has been hurt. Instant cold packs are best for including in a first aid kit for use around a worksite when dealing with minor injuries.They don't require refrigeration and can be used right away.

A recent injury such as an ankle sprain, twisted wrist or ankle, impact injury, bruise, insect bite, or minor bump on the head is usually best treated with an instant cold pack. Cold compresses help reduce pain and swelling in these injuries, help limit further damage by constricting the blood flow in the area, and they make the injury feel better. They are also helpful in cases of heat stress and heat exhaustion when placed in armpits or used as a cold compress to the head, neck, or face.

When using a cold pack, it is important to avoid making an injury worse. Ice packs should be used for 20 minutes at a time - 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Remove the cold pack if your skin or your injury gets uncomfortable, and reapply when you feel comfortable again.