This is why you should NEVER clean your kids' hands with sanitizer

Toni Houston
March 7, 2017

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are practically everywhere these days, but a new government report suggests an increasing number of children are ingesting these products and getting quite sick. Scientists discovered that children may be tempted to swallow the substance, the outcome of which can result in severe repercussions.

"Caregivers and health care providers need to be aware of the potential risks and dangers associated with improper use of hand sanitiser products among children and the need to use proper safety precautions to protect children", researchers said. During 2011-2014, more than 70,000 alcohol-based hand sanitizer cases are were reported to poison control centers across the US and majority may have been accidental with 91 percent occurring in kids aged 5 and under. Many hand sanitizers contain up to 60%-95% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol by volume, and are often combined with scents that might be appealing to young children. Among that age group, 97% of exposures were oral ingestions.

According to the newly-released CDC report, there have been several incidents of children suffering eye irritation, abdominal pains, and vomiting after coming into contact with hand sanitizers.

Overall, 8,219 (12%) patients had at least one reported symptom, including 7,703 (12%) children who ingested alcohol products, and 516 (10%) who ingested nonalcohol products. Most of these exposures may have been accidental, with 91% occurring in children aged 5 and younger.

The researchers spotted seasonal trends in the data which showed increased usage in hand sanitizers during flu season or the school year.


The report comes just months after a damning FDA ruling concluded hand sanitizers are no more useful than soap - and some of the alcohol-based ingredients could even be damaging for your skin.

In September 2016, the Food and Drug Administration issued a rule banning the use of triclosan, triclocarban, and 17 other chemicals in consumer hand and body antibacterial soaps and washes because of health and bacterial resistance concerns.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are safe when applied directly on the hands or used as directed.

Hand sanitizers that contained alcohol were cited in more than 65,000 of the calls, the CDC researchers said.

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