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The University of Rochester Medical Center in New York offers these guidelines:
- Use cold therapy within 24 to 48 hours of an injury -- such as bruises, bumps, sprains or strains.
- Wrap an ice or gel pack in a thin towel before applying to the area.
- Do not leave the cold pack on the area for longer than 20 minutes at a time, and take 10-minute breaks between applications.
-- Diana Kohnle
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