When the temperature tops 90 and the soles of your shoes sizzle on the sidewalk, cold therapy is a necessity for summer first-aid. Whether it’s ice from your freezer, a bag of frozen vegetables or a convenient commercial cold pack, ice therapy has a lot more uses than treating bruises and lumps.
Here are five summer first-aid Strategies for cold therapy:
Chill heat-related illnesses.
During the hot summer months, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be a problem. Signs of exhaustion may include nausea, fatigue, a feeling of nausea, excessive perspiration and a shallow, fast pulse. With more serious heat stroke, the skin is dry and hot, and mental confusion may occur together with a lack of consciousness. Cold packs may be used to keep the body cool in excess temperatures, helping to avoid heat exhaustion. Many athletes cool down after a summer event with an icy cold pack on the back of their necks. If symptoms are present, ice packs together with hydration may be used to reduce the body temperature to a safe level. Always seek medical care in the case of heat stroke because this condition can be abrupt and fatal.
Ice insect bites.
Let’s face it, insect bites are a nuisance, causing swelling, itching and occasionally pain. Icing a sting immediately will keep the insect toxin from spreading to other areas of the body, reduce swelling and inflammation, and numb the area, reducing the need to itch. Use ice therapy on bee, mosquito, spider, fire ant and centipede bites. If an allergic reaction occurs or it’s a serious bite, like in the poisonous Brown Recluse Spider, immediately seek medical assistance.
Keep pets cool.
Even pets can suffer in the summer heat. Keeping them cool may be tricky. An ice pack wrapped in a towel or under a thin blanket may do the trick if they opt to snooze on top of it. Ice cubes are a cool treat that some animals enjoy. Additionally, there are commercial products made especially for horses to ice down their legs after a ride. Particular caution should be taken never to use a product containing one or toxins which might easily break, endangering a pet if they decide it would be fun to play with the ice pack than put on it.
Cool a Burn.
Getting too much sun or being careless about an outside grill could lead to summer burns. For minor first degree burns caused by brief contact with a hot object, steam or water, and bloating, cool skin by holding it under running water, then apply a cold pack to numb the pain. If blistering occurs (second or third degree burns) seek medical assistance.
Cold treatment for night sweats.
Hot summer evenings can mean extreme night sweats for menopausal women. A amazing natural approach to cooling when awakened by a wave of warmth is to tuck a cold pack to the pillowcase so that it lies in the crook of the neck. Within a couple of minutes, the heat wave will subside, allowing for a restful night’s sleep.
Be sure you have at least one or two cold packs in your freezer for summertime first-aid. Chill out and be ready!