Warning About Hand Sanitizer Poisoning in Children!

by Dagmar Bleasdale on March 23, 2011

I received an alarming e-mail from a friend about another mom’s little daughter who got very sick and was hospitalized after ingesting hand sanitizer.

This is not the first time I have heard about this, and I want to urge everyone — parents, grandparents, and caretakers — to be very careful with these products or not to used them anymore!

This little girl, four years old, was very lethargic and incoherent in school, and when they got her to the hospital, she had an alcohol level of 85 percent!

The mother did some research and found out that it only takes three squirts of those hand sanitizers to be FATAL for a toddler.

Her daughter’s blood alcohol level compared to drinking something that was 120 proof. Children are very curious, and since these sanitizers now come in all kinds of flavors and scents, it is understandable that a little child would be curious what this stuff would taste like.

I personally don’t have harsh cleaning products in the house because I don’t want my son to ingest them by accident and because I believe we did just fine growing up without them. There are so many safe cleaning products that are made from natural ingredients, why would I buy anything else? And you can easily make your own household cleaner with vinegar, etc.

I use Mrs. Meyer’s countertop spray in geranium scent — it makes the whole house smell like a flower shop! Divine. I also really like the whole line of all-natural Shaklee products. And I reviewed and absolutely love the BabyGanics products created by two dads. BabyGanics has a foam hand sanitizer, the Germinator, that is alcohol free! This is now my new favorite for Landon’s hands and mine when we are out and about.

The few extra dollars those natural products might cost are well worth the investment and the knowledge that you are doing the right thing for your family and the environment.

Obviously, I don’t even have those green products anywhere near where Landon could get into them — I emptied out one of my upper cabinets in the kitchen and store cleaning products there.

So please, alert everyone you know about the potential danger of these hand sanitizers! To be absolutely safe that these products don’t accidentally get ingested by your child, tell everyone you know not to use them on your child or their children.

If you just can’t live without hand sanitizer, spray some on your hands first, rub it on your child’s hands, and then use a wipe to clean off the excess.

I encourage you to start buying green, natural products for all cleaning products you use, or to make them yourself — you’ll be green, you’ll save your green, and you don’t have to worry about your kids being safe!


{photo by Nathan Siemers}

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristi {at} Live and Love Out Loud March 29, 2011 at 4:51 AM

Oh yes! I remember hearing about this a while back. That stuff is very dangerous, even for stupid adults who ingest it on purpose! It was very smart of you to pass this on, Dagmar.


honeybee March 27, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Thank you very much for sharing. This is very very very very useful information. I am actually hand sanitizer user and i make my 4 year old daughter use it too. Your post make me alert so much of how careless i am. i am going to share this information to everyone i know. Keep up the good work!


Patrish March 25, 2011 at 5:55 AM

Wow! I wouldnt have ever thought of that! Thats crazy. Thanks for sharing the info.


Terri Henry March 25, 2011 at 12:48 AM

Wow…I can’t stand these things either but my Mother-in-law is a nurse and insists on giving us bottles of it. I did come in useful my little one was sick with gastroenteritis as I was cleaning so much poop and he was so distressed at each change, I used this when I needed to pick him up immediately without having a chance to wash my hands. But really it’s vile stuff and I’m glad to have read this post to stick to my true convictions on these things and get rid of it!


Anna March 24, 2011 at 11:59 PM

if you trust snopes, a few adjustments to that email which is currently going around online…

… hand sanitizer is indeed a danger to small children but there are (thankfully) no fatal cases of hand sanitizer posioning and blood alcohol level could not be 85%, as even 0.40% would be lethal.

here’s the whole story:


Dagmar March 25, 2011 at 4:57 AM

Thanks for that link, Anna, there is even more great info to find there.


Multi-Testing Mommy March 24, 2011 at 2:25 AM

I am with ya on being as green as I can more often than not. I use CleanWell handsanitizer spray.
Can I ask you what you use to clean your kitchen counters and sinks after handling raw chicken? This is my big issue and toilets!


Dagmar March 24, 2011 at 3:38 AM

I don’t cook chicken at home — mostly because preparing it makes me freak out. I never knew how much to clean either, and we happened to become a (mostly) vegetarian household last year.


Laura March 23, 2011 at 11:33 PM

Not only that, but it is also a reason why we, as a country, are actually getting sicker, our immune systems are unable to do what it was meant to do.
That poor little girl!


Jamie H March 24, 2011 at 4:47 AM

I was going to say the SAME THING! Our germaphobic society is the reason super bugs exist now. I’m a nurse and I don’t even carry hand sanitizer in my purse. I wash my hands on a regular basis (especially after going to germy places) and that’s all I need. Most germs out in public our bodies can handle naturally.


Cure for hands July 23, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Hands are the most uncared for part of our body. But it is equally important to care for hands. One can brush off dead cells by rubbing it with spoilt milk or blend sugar with olive oil and massage it. Apply good moisturiser, jojoba or olive oil.


Maggie Brown March 18, 2009 at 8:09 PM

I have a great suggestion for a chemical-free and safe way keep young children from spreading those germs! My daughter learned this great program in daycare called Germy Wormy Germ Awareness for Germ Transportation Vehicles ages 2 -7. Now we no longer play the “pass the germs” game! It is mom-invented, drug-free and safe way to teach kids how to both avoid AND keep from spreading germs.


Give kids a PLACE to give their germs to, instead of YOU!


Six Feet Under Blog March 18, 2009 at 1:41 AM

Thanks for the heads up!


Joe Koehler March 17, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Another good option for a safe, effective, alcohol-free, instant hand sanitizer is SkinWear. Check it out at http://www.jshygiene.com


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