Health Encyclopedia



Ice Pack or Cold Pack

Follow these steps to make an ice pack:

  • Put about 1 lb (0.5 kg) of ice in a plastic bag.
  • Add enough water to barely cover the ice.
  • Squeeze the air out of the bag, and seal it.
  • Wrap the bag in a damp towel, and apply it to the painful area.
  • Use the ice pack for up to 15 minutes at a time.

You can make cold packs from items found in your freezer, or you can buy commercial cold packs.

  • Ice bags or bags of frozen peas are inexpensive, last 10 to 20 minutes, and mold well to your body.
  • Cold packs (vinyl-coated silica gel) are lightweight, mold to your body, and last for 20 to 30 minutes. (If the chemical inside leaks out, you may get a chemical burn.)
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised July 20, 2012

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