An ace wrap is a stretchy cloth bandage that comes with clips so that it can be wrapped around an extremity, clipped into place, and reused.

Ace is a brand, but if I search on stretchy bandages, I get various sorts of bandages, cloth, paper, reusable, some sticky....

I have four widths in my clinic: two, three, four and five inch. Mine are from Moore Medical, so they are called "elastic stretchy bandages" instead of ace wraps. I buy them by the box. My daughter taught a first aid course at the junior high, so she took a bunch for her course. I want the mountain bike team to carry an ace wrap on their bikes.

To apply an ace wrap: place it rolled against the joint or limb and then unroll it around. Stretch it enough to apply some pressure but not enough to be painful or have the fingers or toes turn blue. With an ankle sprain or any bruising or tearing injury, an ace wrap will help reduce bleeding and swelling and pain. Put it on as soon as possible after the injury!

After the final high school mountain bike race two years ago, my daughter had a quarter sized bruise on her knee. "What are you going to do about that?" I asked.

"It's small, mom. Nothing."

Two hours later: "Mom? Would you look at my knee?" Now the bruise was a 6 inch across circle.

"Huh. What are you going to do about that?"

"I think I will ace wrap it and ice it."

"Mmmm. Good idea." Ace wrap it right away and the bruise hopefully won't get bigger!

You can also use two ace wraps and some sticks to splint a broken extremity in a trauma situation, or to hold pressure on bleeding.

BQ 299

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