Story by Anna Musiyenko, News Editor
Picture Courtesy of VeryHangry
Poison control centers across the entire country have seen a nearly 400 percent increase (from 3,266 to 16,117) in calls related to young children getting drunk off hand sanitizers, reports CNN.
The amount of alcohol in hand sanitizers could vary from 45 to 95 percent and is tremendously dangerous not only for kids but also for adults. By comparison, wine contains 12 percent and most hard liquors between 35 and 40 percent. Even ingesting a small portion of hand sanitizer, just two or three squirts, can cause alcohol poisoning and in some cases a sudden death.
Dr. Gaylord Lopez, Director of the Georgia Poison Center said, “Kids are getting into these products more frequently, and unfortunately, there’s a percentage of them going to the emergency room.”
Lopez also added that hand sanitizers have become so appealing to kids because they usually come in colorful carrying cases and have sweet smell of food. Strawberry, Vanilla, Grape, Cranberry Sauce, Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte, and other flavored hand sanitizers just look too tasty for young children.
Nhaijah Russell, 6, is one of the hand sanitizers’ ‘victims.’ She accidentally swallowed four squirts of liquid sanitizer at school which made her dangerously drunk. She was transported to the emergency room at Gwinnett Medical Center in Atlanta where she was unable to walk or present her thought clearly. Her blood-alcohol level was 0.179, and it is twice higher than the adult legal alcohol limit to consume for medical or recreational purposes.
Ortoria Scott, Russell’s mother, said, “That was very scary. It could have been very lethal for my child.”
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, more than 15,000 cases of children ingesting hand sanitizers have been reported from January to August in 2015.
Jonathan Fisher,a doctor at the Duke Family Medicine Center said, “They could be sleepy, stumbling, or slurring their words. Kind of what you’d imagine a drunk child would look like.”
Either you are a caring sibling or just a responsible adult, please help to prevent potentially harmful side effects from hand sanitizer by keeping them out of reach of children.
About the Writer…
Anna Musiyenko is a Communication major with minor in Journalism. She is the News Editor of the Saint and a part of AQ women’s tennis team. She enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and writing about her experience.