PracticalDad Solutions:  Frozen Food for Ice Packs

Kids play and that means bruises.  Little ones, big ones and the occasional goose egg that resembles another shoulder growing out of the forehead.  Icepacks are a reliable treatment especially for the whoppers since they keep the swelling under control.  But when Junior’s wailing in the moment, creating an icepack out of ice cubes and a plastic baggy and tie is a cumbersome and nerve-wracking effort.  It’s better if you have something available quickly.

We learned early on that the best alternative was to use a readily available bag of frozen food.  Why?

  • A screaming child requires immediate attention and the steps involved in creating the ice pack can lead to spilled cubes and angst as the child wails.  Grab the bag and run.
  • A frozen food bag is typically larger than the baggy with ice and will cover a larger area.
  • If the bag is filled with a larger number of smaller items – peas or blueberries – it will more readily mold to the form being covered and distribute that cold more evenly.
  • I found that it created more opportunity for distracting conversation; gee, does that feel like a blueberry bruise or more of a green bean bruise?  When they were a little older, the kids would even label the bruise as fruit or veggie and I took to keeping a bag of each sealed in separate freezer bags, lying flat in the freezer.
  • The plastic bag is sealed and does a better job of not leaking than a baggy.  That said, we keep ours in ziploc freezer bags since a blueberry leak will lead to stains.

Like many things, it’s something that I stumbled upon in the cold of the moment. 

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