Hand Sanitizer Dangers for Kids




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I got this email as a forward yesterday.  I wondered if it was an urban legend or it was true.  Here’s the email and what a doctor had to say about it:


 “Yesterday, my youngest daughter, Halle who is just 4 years old, was rushed to the ER by her father for being severely lethargic and incoherent in her classroom. He was called to her school by the school secretary who said that she was ‘VERY VERY SICK’!He told me that when he arrived at her classroom, Halle was barely sitting in the chair. She couldn’t hold her own head up and when he looked into her eyes, she couldn’t focus them.He immediately scooped her up and rushed her to the closest ER, and then called me. When he got there, they ran blood test after blood test and did x-rays, every test imaginable. Her white blood cell count was normal, nothing was out of the ordinary. When I arrived at the ER, the doctor there told us that he had done everything that he could do so he was transferring her to Saint Francis Hospital for further tests.

Right as we were leaving in the ambulance, her teacher arrived at the ER and told us that after questioning Halle ‘s classmates, She had found out that our little girl had licked liquid hand sanitizer off of her hands !!!

Hand sanitizer, of all things. But it makes sense. These days they have all kinds of different scents and flavors and when you have a curious child, they are going to put all kinds of things into their mouths.

When we arrived at the Saint Francis’ Hospital ER, we told the ER Doctor there to check her blood alcohol level, and yes we did get weird looks, but they did it.

The results showed her blood alcohol level was 85% — six hours after we first took her.. There’s no telling what it would have been if we would have requested it at the first ER.

Since then, her school and a few surrounding schools have taken the liquid hand sanitizers out of all the lower grade classes, but what’s to stop middle and high schoolers from ingesting this stuff? After doing research on the Internet, we found out that it only takes about 3 squirts of the stuff ingested to be fatal to a toddler. For her blood alcohol level to be so high, it would be like someone her size drinking120 proof liquor. So PLEASE PLEASE don’t disregard this because we don’t ever want another family to go through what ours has gone through.

Please send this to everyone you know that have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or cousins.

It doesn’t matter what age. This could affect any one of them .

This can also be verified on truth or fiction,


This story was verified at: http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/sanitizer.asp ”


Like me I’m sure you’re wondering could this really happen? Here’s what CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta had to say:


Thursday, June 21, 2007
Hand sanitizer risks
The first time I read about the dangers of hand sanitizer, I thought it was a joke. There was a widely circulating story about a child eating or drinking hand sanitizer and becoming deathly ill. C’mon, you’re thinking. That is an Internet hoax.

Well, not so fast. While there hasn’t been a single documented case of a child dying from it, there have been some pretty frightening stories. Parents, like myself, should at a minimum be aware of what is in hand sanitizer. Flip that bottle over and you are likely to see that it’s 62 percent ethyl alcohol. That is also known as ethanol. It is also the same stuff in wine, beer and Jack Daniels. That’s right: A little 2-ounce bottle = 4 shots of vodka.

The New England Journal of Medicine first warned of cases of people ingesting hand sanitizer a few months ago. Now according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the country’s 61 poison centers are getting more calls about it. There were nearly 12,000 cases last year, up from 2005. Already, this year, there have been about 6,600 cases.

As a father of a 2-year-old and a 4-month-old, I know just about everything goes from hand to mouth. And, hand sanitizer can smell especially appetizing! If you look at a 1-year old child weighing about 22 pounds, a squirt of sanitizer is like your child drinking a sip of a mixed drink. So, is it time we start locking up the hand sanitizer and treating it as a poison? How do you keep your kids safe from these seemingly harmless substances?

If you have any questions, you can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers Poison Help Line 1-800-222-1222. You’ll be connected to your local poison control center.

Posted By Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent: 12:20 PM ET

2 Responses

  1. WOW! I wonder if it can also be absorbed through the skin ? That would also be very dangerous for children.

  2. I serously doubt it Eva

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