old think: Apply ice on a bruise until it heals.
new think: Ice or a cold compress is useful in the first 24 hours, then switch to warm compresses
why: A bruise is a broken blood vessel under the skin, and applying ice to the area early on will help stop the internal bleeding and inflammation. A day after the injury, put warm compresses or a hot water bottle on the bruise to increase blood flow to the area, which will help break up the blood clot. A heating pad on a low setting will also work -- just be sure to place a cloth or towel between it and your child´s skin. (None of this will produce magical healing, though: You´ll probably see a kaleidoscope of colors for about 10 days.)