Mistakes that can cause poisoning due to hand sanitizer, kids to be extra careful

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A study by researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), conducted in 2022, found an 8-fold increase in poisoning due to hand sanitizers during the lockdown period. There is no doubt that the use of hand sanitizers increased during the lockdown period which was imposed to contain the spread of COVID pandemic.
The researchers analyzed and compared telephonic call records of 3 months of pre-lockdown and 3 months of the lockdown made to the National Poisons Information Centre (NPIC), New Delhi, and HS-related calls in different age groups and zones during these periods.
“In the majority of these cases, HS was ingested accidentally. In some cases, HS was ingested intentionally for suicide during the lockdown,” the study revealed.

Mistakes that can cause poisoning due to hand sanitizer, kids to be extra careful

Ingesting a small amount of sanitizer can cause poisoning in kids

While it may seem normal and harmless to use hand sanitizers there are several precautions one needs to follow so that life-threatening complications can be avoided.
The US U.S. Food and Drug Administration labels these as over-the-counter (OTC, or nonprescription) drugs. If you use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, read and follow the Drug Facts label, particularly the warnings section, it warns.
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Keep the sanitizers away from kids. “Drinking even a small amount of hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning in children,” the US FDA warns and cites that there is an increased chance of ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizers as they are packaged in containers that may appear as food or drinks, and of those that contain food flavors or fragrances. Some hand sanitizers contain food flavors or fragrances that attract kids.

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Do sanitizers kill all germs?

No. Sanitizers reduce the number of microbes, but they don’t kill all the germs. “Soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizers at removing certain kinds of germs, like Cryptosporidium, norovirus, and Clostridium difficile1-5. Although alcohol-based hand sanitizers can inactivate many types of microbes very effectively when used correctly 1-15, people may not use a large enough volume of the sanitizers or may wipe it off before it has dried,” the US CDC explains.

Mistakes that can cause poisoning due to hand sanitizer, kids to be extra careful

How to use hand sanitizer effectively?

Use a hand sanitizer only when you can’t use soap or water. Do not make your own hand sanitizer. When buying a sanitizer always opt for the one that has atleast 60% of alcohol.
For better effectiveness, use the hand sanitizer on the palm and rub it all over the surface of the hand. Wait until the product dries properly.

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