Hand sanitizers can be very harmful, especially for children. Toxic hand sanitizers are an urgent issue because their use has skyrocketed since the start of the new virus.
Their correct use is even more important now that children are going back to school, where they will be exposed to hand sanitizer like never before. Plus many hand sanitizers have been recalled for being so harmful, they can cause death.
Toxic Hand Sanitizers – Poisoning in Children
A few years ago, when my son was little, 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 had heard about this, and I want to urge everyone — parents, grandparents, caretakers, and teachers — to be very careful with these products!
This little girl, four years old, was very lethargic and incoherent in school, and when they got her to the hospital, she had a very high alcohol level in her system.
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.
Never ingest alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
If your child is old enough to know not to lick or drink hand sanitizer — should you still be concerned?
Yes, you should, for children and adults.
Our skin is our biggest organ, therefore anything we put on our skin that then gets absorbed needs to be scrutinized.
Ideally, we should avoid hand sanitizer. Soap and water is always the better choice if you wash your hands long enough (20 seconds) with warm water, but now hand sanitizer use is encouraged because of Covid 19 when water and soap are not available.
Soap and water remove all types of germs from hands — sanitizer acts by killing only certain germs on the skin.
Even I have hand sanitizer spray with me when I go out since the outbreak of Covid-19, and I never used to buy these products because I knew how harmful they can be.
They dry out our hands and actually can let in germ into our skin. Excessive hand sanitizer use can lower your immune system response and create stronger bacteria. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, hand sanitizer with antibacterial ingredients can contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistance bacteria. That’s not what we want.
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Especially now, using hand sanitizers the safe way is becoming critically important.
Teach your children that a small amount of hand sanitizer will be enough. The CDC says small children should always be supervised when using hand sanitizer. Make sure they use a small amount, rub their hands until the hand sanitizer has dried, and instruct them not to lick their hands.
Unfortunately, harmful hand sanitizers that have been manufactured with the wrong kind of ingredient, with methanol or 1-propanol that can lead to blindness, other ailments, even death.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should only contain ethanol or isopropanol.
It is very important to check that you didn’t inadvertently buy one of those products, which have been manufactured in Mexico under many different names.
Please alert everyone you know about the potential danger of hand sanitizers!
To be absolutely sure that sanitizer don’t accidentally get ingested by your child, educate everyone taking care of your child how to use these products correctly if washing hands isn’t an option.
If you need to use hand sanitizer on small children, put some on your hands first, then rub it on your child’s hands until they are dry.
Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
I added this info of the products I use in my home years ago when I initially published this post about the dangers of hand sanitizers, before Covid 19.
Obviously, circumstances are very different right now, and we all have to make the choices we feel most comfortable with to eliminate germs in our home, but here are the products I use and like.
I personally don’t have harsh cleaning products in the house. When my son was little, I wanted to guarantee my son wouldn’t be able to ingest them by accident, and I also 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.
Buying one bottle of their Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate makes 50 or more bottles of cleaners – everything from countertop to degreaser and window cleaner!
I’ve had my Shaklee concentrate for over 10 years now, and because it only takes a couple of drops of cleaner added to a bottle of water to make another bottle of cleaner, it will last me many more years.
Obviously, I don’t even have those green products anywhere near where my son could get into them — I emptied out one of my upper cabinets in the kitchen and store cleaning products there.
In general, I encourage you to buying only green, natural products for all cleaning products you use, or to make them yourself — you’ll be green, you’ll save your green (money), and you don’t have to worry about your kids being safe.