I try not to get involved with the coaching of my son’s football team, however having seen the contents of the first-aid kit that my husband was given I knew that he was going to need me to get them some cold packs!
Unfortunately, the most popular choice for first-aid cold packs are the single-use instant ones, however throwing away such chemicals and plastic after just one use is about as unsustainable as you can get and so I was determined to find a practical way for them to be able to use some re-useable ones.
I did briefly toy with the idea of making some of my own with some more natural fillings in zip lock bags, however after a bit of experimenting I wasn’t convinced that they would be robust enough for the type of pitch side handling that they would need to endure.
My next plan was then to get some of the standard re-useable cold packs that I could make covers for out of some old clothes, however as the football season started before I managed to find the time I ended up having to go for the quicker (and more expensive) option of these re-useable ones that came with their own washable sleeve. (An imperfect choice but sometimes I just run out of time!)
Luckily the team haven’t had to use them yet but as they are of a good quality they should hopefully last for a long time.
In reality the only real difference between the single-use and the re-useable packs is that you have to be a tiny bit more organised. So for me I keep the packs in old ice-cream tubs to keep them clean and then they just simply live in my freezer until training/match day when my husband then takes them in a small cooler box (that we already had which I also use it for the milkman).
I can see how single-use ice packs can be useful for unplanned first-aid emergencies, however for scheduled training sessions and matches there really is no reason why you can’t have a re-useable ice pack with you. Unless of course you forget!