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Eraser Burns

   The following message is delivered on behalf of the school nurse, the student assistance counselor and the administration. Lately we have seen several cases of “eraser burn”. You may be asking yourself, what is an eraser burn? Students get an eraser (on the end of a pencil or a chunk eraser) and rub it hard, back and forth on their own skin, or on the skin of another student, with a really fast motion and in the same place creating a serious burn. This is not a new practice for teens; there have been cycles in trends for this behavior over the years. Unfortunately, we have seen a few students here at Warren Hills Middle School with wounds to the tops of their hands. They have admitted that the wounds are from eraser burns and they only did it on a dare or to prove they were tough, or because they thought of it as a joke.

It is important to understand that pencil erasers are far from clean. They may have been borrowed from a teacher or other student, in someone’s mouth, or dropped on the floor, etc. Rubbing them against their skin until an opening in the skin develops can result in a severe infection. Once the wound begins to heal, they still have an opening (although scabbed) where other bacteria can enter the body and infect them, meaning they have a higher chance of getting anyone of these diseases:

Staph or Strep skin infections (MRSA, Scalded Skin Syndrome, or Toxic Shock Syndrome)

Tetanus (Lock Jaw)

Diseases passed by blood and body fluids (Hepatitis and HIV)

You must understand the dangers involved, remembering that NOT every scar heals well and they could be left with a scar for life. This is one decision you could make or dare you could take that is certainly not worth the risk!

If you currently have an eraser burn on your body, please see the nurse immediately to have it evaluated and cleaned.