Children and Teens Ingesting Hand Sanitizer

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Children and Teens Ingesting Hand Sanitizer

More and more children each year are getting accidentally intoxicated by ingesting hand sanitizer. This has caused a 400 percent increase of phone calls to poison control centers.

In 2010, there were 3,266 phone calls to the poison control centers related to hand sanitizer intoxication. By 2014, this number spiked to 16,117. Many children are picking up and eating the hand sanitizer because it is often colorful, smells good and in their eyes looks appetizing. They do not realize what it is and what it will do to them.

Because hand sanitizer’s alcohol concentration is so high, between 45 and 95 percent, it only takes a few pumps for a child to become intoxicated. This then causes the child to become dizzy, vomit and in extreme cases stop breathing.

Although this is happening to young children accidentally, teenagers are using it as a way to get drunk. When teens do not have access to alcohol, they will find roundabout ways to ingest it, like drinking hand sanitizer.

A good alternative to avoid young children from ingesting the product accidentally, and teens ingesting it on purpose, is an alcohol-free hand sanitizer.