How to make your own emergency heat wraps and ice packs

heat wraps and ice packs

It is a fact of life that accidents do happen. With children around and as we get older, we sometimes have injuries or aches and pains that benefit from being treated with a heat wrap or ice pack. It is a good idea to have heat wraps and ice packs on hand for such an occasion.

Heat wraps can be rather expensive. However, you can very easily make your own. All you need are a few materials that you likely have lying around.

The first way to make a heat wrap is to get a long tube sock and fill it with uncooked rice. Tie a knot in the open end, or better yet sew it closed.

The second option in making a heat wrap takes a little more effort, but is still relatively easy to do. Cut a terry cloth towel or thick flannel material into long strips. A good size is approximately 8×22 inches. Sew your pieces together and leave a small opening to fill with uncooked rice. Once it is full, sew the opening closed. Do not use safety pins to close. Metal cannot be put in the microwave.

So easy! Now you are ready to heat your wrap. Place your wrap in the microwave for a couple of minutes, depending on the size of your wrap and your microwave’s power. Once your wrap is heated to the desired temperature, it is ready to use! The rice makes the wrap easily conform to the contours of your body for a nice relaxing neck treatment or for an injured body part. These work great for backaches and arthritis pains.

Other times we need an ice pack for those emergencies! The fastest way to make an ice pack is to put ice cubes or crushed ice into a Ziploc storage bag. This can be messy as the ice melts and water leaks. If you choose this method, remember to place a hand towel between the bag and your skin!

Another good idea is to keep a couple extra bags of frozen green peas in your freezer. Frozen peas are not as harsh on your skin as the ice can be. Also the frozen peas allow the “ice pack” to easily conform to the contours of your body. Simply leave the bag of frozen peas on the area of your body for several minutes. When it thaws, you can swap it out for the other one. It is not a good idea to eat the peas after they have been used. Thawing and refreezing can be a potential food hazard.

You can also fill a Ziploc bag with uncooked rice and store in the freezer until needed. Uncooked rice (not Minute Rice) retains heat and cold very well. All of the above ideas are very simple to make and can be used over and over again.

Now you are all set when you need an emergency heat wrap or ice pack. Remember to check with your doctor to know how long to treat the affected areas. There are recommended time limits for using heat and ice therapy.

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