More Kids Are Getting Sick From Drinking Hand Sanitizers, CDC Reports

Posted: Mar 5 2017, 11:29am CST | by , Updated: Mar 5 2017, 11:34am CST, in News | Latest Science News

More Kids are Getting Sick from Drinking Hand Sanitizers, CDC Reports
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Ingestion of alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause breathing difficulties, excessive alcohol buildup in tissues and even coma

Hand sanitizers are a best way to clean your hands when soap and water is not available. But these hand sanitizers are also putting kid’s health at risk. According to a new report from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an alarming number of kids are getting sick after drinking alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Many hand sanitizers contain up to 95% ethanol or alcohol by volume. Because of the product’s high alcohol content, children are ingesting it to get a quick buzz on, which can lead to serious consequences like troubled breathing, increased acidity levels in blood and even coma.

“Older children (aged 6-12 years) were more likely to report intentional ingestion and to have adverse health effects and worse outcomes than were younger children, suggesting that older children might be deliberately misusing or abusing alcohol hand sanitizers.” CDC report said.

The incidence of consuming, inhaling or getting hand sanitizers in the eyes has increased considerably over the past five years or so. During 2011-2014, more than 70,000 alcohol-based hand sanitizer cases are were reported to poison control centers across the U.S. and most of them may have been accidental with 91 percent occurring in kids aged 5 and under. About 6,000 cases involved children aged 6 to 12, pointing to an intentional ingestion of the product.

“A higher percentage of older children (aged 6–12 years) had intentional exposures to alcohol hand sanitizers than to nonalcohol hand sanitizers. This association was not found in younger children.” The report reads.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are safe when applied directly on the hands or used as directed. But can cause harm if they used in an improper manner either intentionally or unintentionally. To avoid adverse consequences, hand sanitizers should be used under adult supervision and stored out of the reach of young children.

CDC report notes that “increasing awareness of the potential dangers associated with intentional or unintentional ingestion of alcohol hand sanitizers might help encourage proper use and avoid adverse outcomes.”

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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