Whether you’re a parent, parent-to-be or a big kid yourself, this universal truth is known: ice cream makes everything better. The sugar plays a part, yes, but the joys of a cool treat goes back thousands of years. This is also true for cold therapy. The very first known recordings of cold temperatures being used as therapy dates back to 3,500 B.C, a fact discovered from the Edwin Smith Papyrus, the most ancient medical text.
It’s now thousands of years later, and we’ve certainly come a long way. Googling symptoms have now replaced consulting medical scrawls in papyri, yet not much has changed in the concept behind cold therapy. From sports therapy to comforting little tots, cold treatment (or cold treats) still works wonders.
In fact, children worldwide are primed to associate cold packs with pain relief. Whether they call it their “boo-boo”, “ouchie” or “owwie” pack, kids know that these small and nifty packs are there to take away their pain.
Since its first patent in 1971, the ice pack (or cold pack as it was known back then) has evolved in various types and forms. From its original structure of the standard rectangular pack, there are now ice packs and gels specifically created for every injury and body part. There are now ice packs designed specifically for children that parents have used to soothe kids’ pains and discomfort for decades now.
Five ways to use children’s ice packs
From keeping a fever down to treating bumps and bruises, children’s ice packs are definitely more than just colourful “cool toys”.
Here are five ways you can use your children’s ice packs. Please take note that these are general advice for children generally aged six months and older.
1. They help with fever
When a child is feeling unwell with a fever, it’s almost never clear whether the fever is because of an underlying illness or whether it’s simply just a fever. When a fever is accompanied by a cold or a cough, it means that your child’s body is fighting an infection.
Essentially, there are two known ways for a child to feel better when they have fever. The first way is to provide them medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Do take note that paracetamol can be given to infants aged two months and older, and ibuprofen is considered safe to be given to babies over three months old, or if they weigh more than five kilos (11 pounds). You should not give both paracetamol and ibuprofen at the same time.
The second way to help your child feel better when they have a fever is to apply a cooling treatment on their body. Children’s ice packs, such as this one by Magic Gel, can be used as a cool compress. The pack of five comes with two headband-type gel packs that perfectly wrap around little heads. To use the ice packs, first chill them in the fridge and then place them gently on their foreheads in order to cool the head and face area and to provide comfort.
This won’t make the fever go away, but it will help in keeping their temperature down and provide a little bit of distraction to take the fever blues away.
*Please bear in mind that, as a rule, if your child is an infant younger than three months old with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit), you must consult your doctor. For older children, consult your doctor for temperatures that reach 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit).
2. They offer comfort during teething
If your baby is between six to 24 months old, chances are they are teething. This means that their teeth are starting to erupt or break through the gums. This is normally an uncomfortable (but bearable) time for babies. You will often find a teething baby having swollen and tender gums, and many times they are placing objects or their hands in their mouths in an attempt to soothe their discomfort.
As cold therapy is known to reduce inflammation and pain, children’s ice packs also make a good teething relief for babies. There are many safe gel packs ideal for teething babies. One of them is Magic Gel’s Children’s Ice Pack, which is filled with non-toxic gel beads that hold the cold temperatures for more than 15 minutes. Place the pack in the fridge and be sure to give it a good clean before handing it over to your baby. The cool surface will provide numbing and comforting relief to your baby’s gums.
3. Ice packs soothe the irritation from scratches, bites and rashes
Children’s skin can be quite sensitive, so rashes, scratches and insect bites can be quite a common occurrence. Ice packs are not a remedy to skin conditions and rashes, but the cool therapy gives absolute relief and a welcome distraction from the itch and discomfort.
Rashes are often a sign of allergy, and we suggest contacting your doctor to ensure it’s just a superficial rash. Bathe your child in a soothing bath (like oatmeal), especially if they have eczema. Once you have gently towelled them dry, apply medication if needed and, as a last step, use the ice packs as a cool compress to itchy spots.
4. They treat falls bumps and bruises
No childhood is complete without falls, bumps and bruises. It’s part of growing up as you allow your child to explore more. Though most can be very painful, falls, bumps and bruises are usually easy to treat. Similar to adults, when children injure themselves from their everyday play, the RICE method is also suggested.
R – Rest
Have your child stop playing and make them rest. This is to prevent further injury from happening. This is especially important for children who cannot speak yet as they cannot communicate where the pain is or how it feels.
I – Ice
Apply a children’s ice pack to the affected area. Do not expose the skin to the gel pack for more than 20 minutes at a time. The cold therapy will reduce any inflammation. We recommend keeping a towel or cloth between the child’s skin and the ice pack.
C – Compress
To keep the injury from swelling, apply compression bands to the affected area. Be careful not to make them so tight that they constrict blood flow completely.
E – Elevate
Elevate the part of the child’s body where the bruising or bump has occurred.
For minor bumps and bruises, treat the area with ice, using the children’s ice pack for no more than 20 minutes at a time, leaving at least 30 minutes between each session, for the next 24 hours.
Magic Gel’s Children’s Ice Packs set is created specifically for little limbs, legs, knees and feet, which make them the perfect “BooBoo Buddy” for bumps and bruises.
5.They keep children cool
The joys and warmth of summer months are unfortunately coupled with heat and restless play. When the temperature rises during this season, it’s important to prevent heat stroke in children, especially as they spend more time outdoors.
When summer hits, make sure to always have sets of children’s ice packs ready in the fridge or freezer. To prevent heat fatigue in children, place ice packs on their neck, armpits, back and groin. These are areas in the body that have a concentration of blood vessels, so cooling them will help reduce the body temperature.
These Children’s Ice Packs by Magic Gel are the perfect size for tiny limbs, so they make an ideal cooling summer companion.
Have you got any more tips on how to use children’s ice packs? Send us a message for ideas or if you have any questions!