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Hand sanitiser danger - a warning we should be aware of

(18 Posts)
pookamoo Thu 15-Oct-09 21:30:00

DH had the following email today. We did a bit of looking round on the net and it seems to be true. Take care with hand sanitiser around small children, as just 3 squirts could be fatal to a toddler. Have a word with your nurseries to make sure they are aware of the danger, as many places are using sanitiser at the moment because of the swine flu.

I quote (and yes it is an American email):

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 drinking 120 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.

Ladyatron Thu 15-Oct-09 21:32:35

ooh sounds like an episode of house!

Cometrickortreatingwithme Thu 15-Oct-09 21:33:01

I just looked this up on snopes and it is true according to them.

How scary dd got some in her mouth a couple of months ok but I caught her and made her spit it out!

Cometrickortreatingwithme Thu 15-Oct-09 21:33:34

That should be ago not ok blush.

nancy75 Thu 15-Oct-09 21:34:49

blood alcohol level of 85%?? i thought bac of 0.5% killed you
sounds abit rubbish to me!

GentleOtter Thu 15-Oct-09 21:36:36

Our little boy got hold of some and licked it (cherry scent) but was ok.

SixtyFootDoll Thu 15-Oct-09 21:36:54

Sounds like bollocks to me

jobhuntersrus Thu 15-Oct-09 21:37:06

So is it safe to rub into skin, just don't ingest it. Little ones put their fingers in their mouths all the time.

nancy75 Thu 15-Oct-09 21:37:29

with a bac of 85% child would have been dead

tribeleader Thu 15-Oct-09 21:37:57

according to snopes, an ounce or two ingested could be fatal, just licking hands isn't going to be detrimental, they have to eat/drink it. Also, that email has been doing the rounds for over two years

Just as many things, it shouldn't be left around small children that may eat it

herbietea Thu 15-Oct-09 21:38:07

Message withdrawn

nellie12 Thu 15-Oct-09 21:43:06

I dont doubt she was drunk. Alcohol gel by bedsides has been banned on all wards treating alcoholics as they had a lovely time drinking it!

I think the lie is in the she had a lick of it.
No she didn't she drank half the bottle and the nursery is covering its own back.
<disclaimer - my theory>

pookamoo Thu 15-Oct-09 21:43:45

Well just to be on the safe side... keep it away from them.
We looked it up on snopes too.

QueenOfFrighteningEveryone Thu 15-Oct-09 21:43:51

Yeah if they actually drink the stuff it could be fatal.

So keep it out of their reach.

Personally I don't let that stuf near my DD's hands, she washes them in soapy water every now and then frequently. I disagree with this idea that everything needs to be sanitised all the time.

InSync Thu 15-Oct-09 22:10:06

No it's partially true. Patients in hospital with alcohol problems have been known to ingest this stuff precisely because it contains alcohol.

I took DD to see someone in hospital recently and there was a sign saying please use the hand gell before entering the ward. We put some on DD's hands and we noticed she was licking it (she's 2) so had to go and wash it off.

I would think that someone who have to have quite a lot of it to get that ill though.

clopsy Sun 18-Oct-09 23:13:56

Totally made up OP, sorry.

bran Sun 18-Oct-09 23:20:40

I can see that swallowing it would be a problem, but doesn't the alcohol evaporate off very quickly when you rub it on your hands? Surely all you would have to do is watch your child to make sure they don't put their hand in their mouth for the first 30 seconds or so?

nooka Tue 20-Oct-09 04:30:46

There are several different sorts of hand sanitiser, and some of them are quite toxic. Where I live they decided not to put alcohol gel hand cleaners in schools because they were worried the children would either use them to set fires or drink them. We use a non-alcohol based sanitiser at work, and it tastes foul (I lie my hand for some reason, and it really was very nasty).

So I think that there are probably some wrong details in this (the 85% is much more likely to refer to the amount of alcohol in the sanitiser for example), but in essence yes you should be careful about overusing hand sanitisers with toddlers. It s strong stuff (and soap and water is better).

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