When the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world, precautions were advised through social media, television, and other communication forms. One of these precautions included the use of an alcohol-based sanitizer for when your hands come in contact with a foreign object.
This boosted the alcohol-based sanitizer sales, and many people began storing them. However, not long after, many poison control centers were notified about the alarming number of children that had accidentally swallowed sanitizer.
Children are innocent and unaware of the grave consequences of ingesting such a poisonous substance. For them, it is merely a gelatinous liquid that catches their eyes. It is your job to protect your child from it, so we will give you a rundown on how to deal with this dangerous situation.
What happens if a child swallows sanitizer?
According to Pediatric Toxicologist, Dr. Diane Celello, if children take enough alcohol-based sanitizer, it can become a dangerous situation as they may get threateningly drunk. These hand sanitizers are around 60 to 95 percent alcohol which can intoxicate the child if ingested.
Like adult intoxication, if the amount of sanitizer increases, the child begins to lose consciousness and has difficulty breathing. Children can also be subjected to an intense drop in their blood glucose levels, which can drain and exhaust them 6-10 hours post-consumption. Additionally, if the sanitizer has an ingredient called isopropyl alcohol, it can lead to irritation in the stomach and throat as well.
How can it be prevented?
Keep all types of sanitizers away from children-plain and simple- these sorts of chemicals should be kept away from the reach of children. If they are old enough to reason, you can explain to them the consequences of ingesting hand sanitizer. However, if the children are younger, you need to supervise what they are doing.
Other than that, you can keep the hand sanitizer in a place where you are certain that the children won’t be able to reach and Hand Sanitizers are only useful for when you don’t have water and soap available, so the chances of using hand sanitizer in a home are at an all-time low.
What to do when hand sanitizer is ingested?
In an unfortunate situation where the child has swallowed hand sanitizer, the first step you need to take is to call the poison control center, which will provide you with proper instruction on what to do next. If your child is unresponsive or behaving strangely, do not hesitate to call 911.
The number of these cases has risen greatly over the past year and you can prevent such an incident with a little extra attention.