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I was made aware of this danger via a 'round robin' email and, although the following maybe somewhat alarmist there is, apparently, truth in the warning that 'Ingestion of alcohol hand sanitizer by children may result in alcohol poisoning.'


WARNING for ALL Parents/Grandparents, Teachers, Coaches, Babysitters ... 

"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'd 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 outrageous - 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 drinking120 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." 

More information on the subject and supporting resource information can be found at


The following advice is common sense really but I feel it is worth repeating:-

  • Lock all chemicals and medicines away in a child-proof container.

  • Keep all products in their original containers.

  • Never put any medicines or chemicals such as weed killers in soft drink bottles.

  • Never refer to medicines as sweets.

  • Clean out old medicines frequently and return them for safe destruction.

  • Rinse empty containers and throw them out in a safe place.

  • Never take or give any medicines in the dark.

  • Wherever possible buy products that have child resistant caps.

  • Store cleaning products out of reach and, where possible, out of sight of children.

  • Keep the number of the local poisons unit, your family doctor and your local hospital ready to hand in case of emergency.

Below is a list of products that could be dangerous, some obvious and some not so obvious:-

  • Dish washing liquid

  • Soap

  • Window cleaner

  • Oven cleaner

  • Medicines

  • Vitamins

  • Furniture polish

  • Drain cleaner

  • Ammonia

  • Washing powder

  • Bleach

  • Fabric softener

  • Dye

  • Rat/ant poisons

  • Moth balls

  • Petrol

  • Car wax/soaps

  • Weedkiller/pesticides

  • Paint

  • Windscreen washer fluid

  • Antifreeze

  • White spirit

  • Solvents

  • Adhesives

  • Cosmetic products

  • Shampoo

  • Medications (ointments etc.)

  • Cleansers

  • Perfume

  • Painkillers






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