TGA warning about the correct use and purchase of wheat or grain-filled heat packs
22 November 2012
The TGA is alerting consumers to the risk of burns that can result from the use of wheat or grain-filled heat packs (heat packs), after receiving reports of personal injury caused by overheating.
Incidents involving heat packs that have been reported to the TGA include reports of burns resulting from heat packs:
- being heated and placed on or in bedding
- being heated in microwaves for longer than the time specified by the manufacturer
- being reheated before being allowed to cool properly
- ageing, causing fillings to dry out and become combustible
The TGA reminds consumers to carefully follow manufacturer's instructions, and recommends the purchase of heat packs that are listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). Heat packs are classified as low-risk (Class 1) medical devices.
To avoid burns or other personal injury, the TGA advises consumers using heat packs to:
- always buy packs that are listed on the ARTG. The heat pack should clearly identify the manufacturer and batch or lot number. Heat packs purchased from cottage industry sites such as markets, fairs and craft stalls may not be listed on the ARTG, and the TGA advises caution.
- avoid buying packs with flammable casing or covers (wool and cotton-covered packs are recommended as they are non-combustible)
- always follow the manufacturer's instructions for use carefully, especially instructions for heating
- only use heat packs for direct application to body aches or pain
- don't use heat packs in situations where the heat is confined (e.g. as a bed warmer, inside or on bedding).
Contact the TGA to report a problem with heat packs.
Content last updated: Thursday, 22 November 2012
Content last reviewed: Thursday, 22 November 2012
Web page last updated: Thursday, 16 May 2013