Health Tip: Prevent Burns From a Heating Pad

(HealthDay News) -- A heating pad is often recommended to treat sore muscles or muscle spasms. But it's important to follow safety precautions when using one.

Here are suggestions for protecting your skin and preventing burns when using a heating pad, courtesy of the University of Missouri Health Care system:

  • Always place a piece of fabric between the heating pad and your skin.
  • Avoid turning the heating pad on a setting higher than medium.
  • Use a heating pad with a timer, so that it will automatically turn off if you fall asleep.
  • Never use the heating pad on one area of your body for more than 15-20 minutes at a time.
  • Don't apply a heating pad to an area that feels numb or tingly.