If I put an ice pack directly on a black eye in-the-making, will it prevent bruising and swelling in that area? If not, what will?
Ice won’t prevent a black eye, but it will ease the swelling and bruising of one.
It’s always a good idea in the first 24 hours to apply an ice pack – or anything cold, really – to a black eye. I once had someone come in with a frozen chicken over her eye, and that worked just fine. For an ice pack, though, you’ll want to crush the ice, put it in a baggie, then add a little water to encourage the baggie to assume the shape of your face. Keep in mind that the younger the child, the harder it is to apply ice. In that case, just do the best you can!