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Any ideas for disposable ice packs?


I am a new school nurse who is a little earth conscious. I don't like the idea of handing out plastic bags with ice to every kiddo that gets hurt. Obviously I want them to feel better, but I would love to figure out something better than a plastic bag full of ice and then wrapped with a paper towel. Do any of you wonderfully experienced school nurses have any advice or suggestions that will be truly appreciated?


Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

you can get the reusable ice packs from school health or macgill and either make the kids stay in your office while they ice themselves or you can hope they bring them back to you... for somewhat older kids when i was still using the reusable gel packs i would ask the kids for a piece of collateral (nothing of real value - agenda book, snazzy pen, etc) in exchange - but then it became too much troulbe for me to keep track of all those trinkets. Finally i just bit the bullet and went with ice and baggies. I only give a paper towel if it had to go on bare skin, such as a hand. As fas as another disposable idea - i can't come up with anything practical.


Specializes in School Nurse, Maternal Newborn. Has 35 years experience.

I use a sponge, wet it well, place it in a ziplock bag, and freeze. I keep a basket of them in the freezer. I make colorful little bags from scrap fabrics to cover them. The kids are pretty good about returning them afterwards. If they are seen around the building where they don't belong, there is always a kind child that will return them to me.

mandm97, RN

Specializes in School Nurse/Supervisor. Has 35 years experience.

I have always used the resuable ice packs. I cover them with a paper towel. After many years of doing this....I now have them sign them out and back in when they return it! Boy..........what a improvement in the return rate! I usually tease them by saying "I'll hunt you down if you don't return it". That usually gets a chuckle out of them and I get my ice pack back!!:lol2:

Have a great day!

Purple_Scrubs, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

I use the gel packs wrapped in a paper towel as well. I do not allow them to leave my office except under extreme circumstances, or I leave the the teacher in charge of seeing that they are returned. I still have some that do not find their way back, lol. Luckily, they are pretty cheap so I replenish the stock each year.


Specializes in Telemetry, Gastroenterology, School Nrs. Has 18 years experience.

I use the Ziploc baggies right now but I am in the process of making ice packs that will be returned to me. I'm taking rice and putting them into plastic pouches and sealing them.Those get placed into baby socks i purchase from the dollar store. I seal the socks with velcro and they hit the freezer. Rice gets as cold as ice plus, they can be heated in microwave as a heat pack. I can wash the socks by simply opening the end and removing the rice pouch!


Specializes in ICU, Hospice, Nursing Education. Has 8 years experience.

The rice is a great idea with the socks!

smily nurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health. Has 38 years experience.

take a paper towek, fold, wet it, place in baggie & freeze!!!!

Our local hospital wets a sanitary napkin or panty liner, places it in a plastic bag and freezes it...for women with episiotomy discomfort! How's that for a home-made ice pack?? (LOL):rolleyes: