A heating pad provides soothing heat - either moist or dry - to relieve aches and pains.

To be sure it works safely and properly when you need relief, follow these simple tips on using and troubleshooting a heating pad.Proper Use:

- Be sure your pad is labeled "Wetproof" before using it for wet or moist applications. If a pad is not waterproof, use it only for dry heat.

- Before each use, examine the pad's permanent inner cover. If the cover is worn or cracked, discard the pad. If moisture leaks into the heating element, it can cause a serious shock.

- Never insert pins into the heating pad. The metal pin might contact a live heating element and cause a shock. Or the pin might rupture the waterproof lining creating an additional shock hazard.

- Heating pads can cause burns if used carelessly.

Don't lie on the pad. Place the pad on top of, not under, the part of the body to be heated. Don't make sharp folds in the heating pad. Creasing it may break a heating element.

- Troubleshooting:

If a heating pad fails to heat, current is not flowing through the heating elements. You can determine the cause through step-by-step testing, starting with the wall outlet and continuing with the various parts of the heating pad.