“Kids are getting into these products more frequently, and unfortunately, there’s a percentage of them going to the emergency room,” said Dr. Gaylord Lopez, the center’s director.
The amount of alcohol in hand sanitizer ranges from 45% to 95%. Ingesting even small amounts — as little as two or three squirts in some cases — can cause alcohol poisoning. By comparison, wine and beer contain about 12% and 5% alcohol…
…3,266 hand sanitizer cases related to young children were reported to poison control centers in 2010. In 2014, the number increased to 16,117 cases.
In many cases, the hand sanitizer is ingested by young children who are unaware of the intoxicating effects. But some kids are also drinking the stuff on purpose, looking to get drunk. In either case, Lopez recommends storing hand sanitizer out of the reach of children and monitoring the use. You can also switch to an alcohol-free hand product, such as Kleenex® Alcohol-Free Foam Hand Sanitizer.
Of course, the best way to kill germs on hands is to wash them with plain soap and water. That’s because hand washing kills viruses as well as bacteria, including cold & flu viruses. Save the sanitizer for when you aren’t anywhere near a sink.