Healing Hands: The Benefits of Hot and Cold Therapy for Kids’ Pain Relief

By April 24, 2023cold pack, Hot Pack

Every day, countless children play on playgrounds, and accidents can still happen despite numerous safety measures to prioritize their safety. It’s a frequent occurrence for minors to explore and participate in activities involving a potential injury risk.

Kids are quite vulnerable to injuries, whether caused by the trauma of contact during sports, falling off furniture/tripping on objects at home, or losing grip while on different playground equipment. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that roughly more than 200,000 children of ages 14 and younger are treated for playground-related injuries, including broken bones, sprained ligaments, and dislocated joints.

Fortunately, most mild aches and pains may not always require medical attention. Hot and cold therapy is a practical and convenient way to treat pain, reduce swelling and speed up the healing process in children. This natural, affordable, safe treatment therapy works for various childhood injuries, including strains and sprains, bumps, bruises, and sore muscles.

Heat has the ability to increase blood flow to the affected area, helping relax muscles, while cold reduces inflammation and numbs the area. Knowing when to use each treatment method is critical for effective pain management.

Using Hot Therapy for Childhood Injuries

Heat therapy reduces pain in children who have suffered from injuries such as sprains, strains, and growing pains. It can also provide relief to sore muscles and menstrual cramps. When muscles are stressed and in pain, the heat acts as a catalyst for blood flow, improving circulation to the affected area, which helps relax tense muscles.  

Applying the wrong heat source can cause more damage, so using specialized products designed for safety is essential. Instant hot packs or reusable gel bead packs are ideal for delivering the right amount of heat into sore muscles for much-needed pain relief. Our children’s hot and cold gel packs are flexible, soft, and durable and can be easily applied to the skin for effective pain relief and healing.

Note: Sufficient time is required for the warmth to penetrate deep into the muscles. However, don’t leave the product on for too long. When it comes to applying heat compresses, always ensure your tools and techniques aren’t causing damage to the child’s skin. Depending on the magnitude of the injury, heat applications can range from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. It’s prudent to check the temperature and monitor the skin for any signs of irritation or discomfort. We advise never to use a cold or hot compress on children under aged 2.

When is Cold Therapy Appropriate?

If superficial tissue is tender to the touch, accompanied by redness, “hotness,” and swelling, these are indicators that the kid’s injury is recent. In this case, cold therapy can lower inflammation and reduce swelling. Similarly, a fever-reducer gel bead ice wrap can relieve fever and throbbing headaches. Cold therapy is known to be highly effective in providing relief from recent injuries due to its ability to numb the affected area.

Cold has the opposite effect of the heat: it constricts blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the injured area, which can significantly reduce the neurotransmission of pain. For the best application, Rapid Aid offers a range of cold therapy products backed by years of research. From cold gel packs to wraps, hot-cold therapeutic oat bags, pearl ice packs and instant cold packs, we carry a range of high-quality cold therapy solutions to meet your customers’ application needs.

Remember to never place an ice pack directly on a child’s injury as it can cause severe frostbite with long-lasting effects. Instead, wrap it in a towel and only place it on for short bursts, at most 20 minutes at a time, with frequent breaks. Alternatively, opting for our instant ice cold pack or patented 3-in-1 instant cold wrap that features our Gentle Touch™ non-woven material allows for direct-to-skin application without the risk of skin injury.

Best Practices for Using Hot and Cold Therapy for Specific Childhood Injuries 

The best practices for using hot and cold therapy for specific childhood injuries involve understanding the type of injury, how to apply the treatment safely, and how long it should be applied.

Sports Injuries: Sports injuries like muscle tears or strains result in severe sudden pain, swelling, and bruising. Applying cold therapy to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours can significantly reduce pain, muscle swelling, and inflammation. Heat therapy can also be administered a few days after an acute injury once the swelling has subsided or before an activity to increase flexibility and range of motion. 

Growing Pains: Growing pains are a common complaint among children and teenagers. While these pains are generally not serious, they can be extremely uncomfortable and disruptive to daily life. Fortunately, a heated leg wrap can provide soothing warmth to achy legs and help soothe the discomfort associated with growing pains. Place the wrap or gel pack in the microwave for the time indicated on the product and apply it to the affected area.

Discover the Health Benefits of Hot and Cold Therapy for Kids

Ultimately, hot and cold therapy is beneficial for many common childhood injuries. Rapid Aid is a leading global supplier of hot and cold therapy products specifically designed to promote the health and well-being of individuals. We offer various items to support multiple environments, including schools, sports medicine, orthopedic, pediatric, and health/medical facility suppliers.

Generally, proper assessment and treatment of children’s injuries is necessary to ensure they can return to their usual activities and prevent further harm. If unsure whether hot and cold therapy is appropriate for a specific injury or ailment, seek medical advice from a healthcare provider.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read in this article. The author and publisher of this article do not assume any liability for any injury, loss, or damage incurred due to the use or reliance upon the information provided herein.