Why Kids 12 and Under Are Drinking Hand Sanitizer Gel | Medical City Healthcare

If you’ve sent your kids out the door with those cute little bottles of hand sanitizer in their backpacks, lunchboxes and gym bags, you may want to check the ingredient labels to see if ethanol or isopropyl alcohol is listed. If it is, it’ll top the list as the No. 1 ingredient — as much as 60% to 95% according to the CDC. In its new report, the CDC cited information from the National Poison Data System showing that between 2011 and 2014, more than 70,000 children aged 12 and under ingested hand sanitizer and suffered at least one adverse health effect.

Some of those ingestions, especially in children aged 6 to 12, were intentional. So much so that the CDC is suggesting alcohol-based hand sanitizer “might be a product of intentional abuse among older children.”

Damien Mitchell, MD, a pediatrician at Medical City Dallas Children’s Hospitalopens a new tab, was interviewed for the NBC/DFW Channel 5 story about the CDC’s report, below.

How kids are taking in toxic levels of hand sanitizer:

Drinking it

Getting it in their eyes

Inhaling it

Absorbing too much through their skin

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