Hand Sanitizers Making Kids Drunk
Scented hand sanitizers appeal to kids sense of curiosity, taste
It's a crazy thought to me, but apparently some kids are drinking hand sanitizer. I say it's crazy, but then I think about the fruity smells of some alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and how the packaging may include a picture of fruit like some fruit-infused waters might (Summer Sorbet anyone?). Some children attach little bottles to their bookbags like it's a cute new cartoon figurine they have to have — actually some hand sanitizers are packaged as cute little animals or glittery accessories.
Since 2010, poison control centers have seen an increase by 400 percent in calls about kids who have ingested hand sanitizer. Here's the thing: the amount of alcohol in alcohol sanitizer ranges from 45 percent to 95 percent, so even a small amount is like taking a shot of rubbing alcohol. (Just for the sake of comparison, a glass of wine contains 12 percent alcohol and typical beer around 5 percent.)
I'm not a germaphobe. I think germs have their place. I also believe in soap and water. I don't have hand sanitizer in my pocketbook, car and all over my house. I do believe in healthy hygiene and I do ask my son to wash his hands, but I don't chase after him with a squirt-bottle of hand sanitizer after we go to the park or anywhere else.
Aside from the fact that children are drinking and getting sick from drinking hand sanitizer, I believe it may contribute to "superbugs" — those crazy mutant germs that are resistant to medicine.
Washing hands reigns supreme. As flu and cold season kicks in this year, remind kids to wash hands often, sneeze into their arms (not hands), and to keep their hands and other objects out of their mouths. And when sickness hits your house, because that's life and it will, I personally recommend faucets and door knobs with antibacterial wipes to try and keep from spreading the germs.
And if you choose to use the alcohol hand sanitizer, be sure your kids know never to drink it no matter how fruity-delicious it smells. I'm going to have the talk with my son, though crazy as it seems!