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View Full Version : OT- Be careful with hand sanitizers!!


itsjustmeghan
05-29-2007, 11:53 AM
i just got this in an email...i double checked it on erumor.com to be sure. this is kinda scary, especially with how much people with kids use this stuff...reminds me of pets with swiffer or antifreeze.
i've never been a big user of this stuff, but i'm definately going to stick with good old soap and water now.
just thought i'd share.

Ok. I don't know where to begin because the last 2 days of my life have been such a blur. Yesterday, My youngest daughter Halle who is 4, was rushed to the emergency room by her father for being severely lethargic and incoherent. He was called to her school by the school secretary for being "very VERY sick." He told me that when he arrived that Halle was barely sitting in the chair. She couldn't hold her own head up and when he looked into her eyes, she co uldn't focus them.
He immediately called me after he scooped her up and rushed her to the ER. When we 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. The ER doctor told us that he had done everything that he could do so he was sending her to Saint Francis for further test.
Right when we were leaving in the ambulance, her teacher had come to the ER and after questioning Halle's classmates, we found out that she had licked hand sanitizer off her hand. Hand sanitizer, of all things. But it makes sense. These days they have all kinds of different scents and when you have a curious child, they are going to put all kinds of things in their mouths.
When we arrived at Saint Francis, we told the ER doctor there to check her blood alcohol level, which, yes we did get weird looks from it but they did it. The results were her blood alcohol level was 85% and this was 6 hours after we first took her. There's no telling what it would have been if we would have tested it at the first ER.
Since then, her school and a few surrounding schools have taken this out of the classrooms of all the lower grade classes but what's to stop middle and high schoolers too? After doing research off the internet, we have found out that it only takes 3 squirts of the stuff to be fatal in a toddler. For her blood alcohol level to be so high was to compare someone her size to drinking something 120 proof. So please PLEASE don't disregard this because I don't ever want anyone to go thru what my family and I have gone thru. Today was a little better but not m uch. Please send this to everyone you know that has children or are having children. It doesn't matter what age. I just want people to know the dangers of this.


this is from eRumor:
Four-year old Girl Intoxicated From Hand Sanitizer-Truth!
Summary of the eRumor:
The author of the email says her 4-year old daughter ate hand sanitizer at pre-school and was rushed to the hospital with potentially deadly alcohol intoxication.

The Truth:
The story is true, although with one glaring factual error.
According to a Fox 23 Tulsa television interview with her parents, Matt and Lacey Butler, Little Halle was in a pre-kindergarten class at Okmulgee Primary School in Okmulgee, Oklahoma when a teacher did what seemed to be right, gave Halle some hand sanitizer to clean her hands before eating lunch. Instead of rubbing it in, however, Halle ate it. She licked it from her hand. Shortly afterwards her behavior was alarming enough that she was taken to a local hospital. Matt Butler says that when he arrived at the emergency room, his daughter was leaning against a wall, that her eyes would not focus, and she could not walk.
Doctors determined that she was intoxicated.
The eRumor says her blood alcohol level was 85 percent, which nobody would survive so that figure is obviously wrong. The writer may have meant to say .85 percent.
Hand sanitizers have an alcohol level of more than 60 percent. Hard liquor, by comparison, is 40 percent alcohol while most beers are less than 5 percent alcohol.
Unlike other poisons and alcoholic beverages, however, most hand sanitizers are easily accessible to children and most of us would not think about the danger.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that alcohol can cause drunkenness as well as serious poisoning leading to seizures, coma, and even death in young children---and that children are more sensitive to the toxic effects of alcohol than adults.
Updated 5-25-07

ChroniclesofYarnia
05-29-2007, 12:08 PM
I just checked out Snopes, and they confirmed that it is true. :O

I can't stand to smell that stuff...I don't see how those kids ate enough of it to cause poisoning. Yuck.

Kaydee
05-29-2007, 12:17 PM
I just checked out Snopes, and they confirmed that it is true. :O

I can't stand to smell that stuff...I don't see how those kids ate enough of it to cause poisoning. Yuck.

I was wondering the same thing. Did she get that sick just from licking a bit off her hand?:zombie:

Jan in CA
05-29-2007, 12:37 PM
YIKES! I guess it's one more thing to keep with the other medications and away from the children. :shock:

yarnfreak
05-29-2007, 02:58 PM
I've heard that using hand sanitizer a lot can actually lower your immune system by messing with the good bacteria and whatnot. I cannot even begin to think how much you'd have to eat, even at 4 years old, to make you drunk. Bleck!

cookworm
05-29-2007, 03:03 PM
I can't stand to smell that stuff...I don't see how those kids ate enough of it to cause poisoning. Yuck.

Thanks for posting this, Meghan! This is really great to know.

Yarn Mommy, I agree with you 100%, but I have to tell you, my daughter puts EVERYTHING in her mouth, even stuff that I can't imagine what the attraction is (Icy Hot, Lysol, lemon oil furniture polish, soap, just to name a few :ick:). I'm glad this was posted because even though my hand sanitizer is well out of her reach, it's still a good thing to keep in mind for the--God forbid!--just in case scenario.

wewantmore
05-29-2007, 03:18 PM
I have a hard time believing that she just licked what the teacher gave her off her hands to make her THAT sick. I'd think she'd have to almost DRINK it. :shrug:

I've received this email too.

Michelle

letah75
05-29-2007, 03:35 PM
Keep in mind 4 year olds have signifinantly lower body mass than an adult. Also since she has likely never had alcohol before, her tolerance is low.

I wonder what kind of sanitizer it was? There are many out there without alcohol in them. However, saying that i only use it at work when I have no other choice. It does kill good bacteria, and it makes bad bacteria kind of resistant.

Kaydee
05-29-2007, 03:56 PM
It does kill good bacteria, and it makes bad bacteria kind of resistant.

I've heard this many times....if you use hand sanitizer frequently it stops working on the bacteria eventually because they become resistant. I rarely use it, I'd just rather go with soap and water if I can.

Silver
05-29-2007, 04:07 PM
I have a hard time believing that she just licked what the teacher gave her off her hands to make her THAT sick. I'd think she'd have to almost DRINK it. :shrug:

I agree. I think if she didn't drink it, the teacher put WAY too much in her hand. I also think the teacher was at fault. Hand Sanitizer is a chemical and she shouldn't have left it up to a preschooler to use it appropriately. Duh.

I carry hand sanitizer with me all the time. I don't over use it, but when I need it, I'm SO glad I have it. For example, I always use it when I leave a doctors office. Or I will use it to disinfect a public toilet seat if there aren't any paper seat covers.

jeanius80
05-29-2007, 04:09 PM
wow. i never would have thought.. i would guess that the little girl probably had the stuff in her hand ( a little blob of 2-3 squirts) and just let it slide into her mouth. gross...:ick: it probably smeeled ok if it was lemon scented or whatever... she probably didnt even taste it. poor baby.

brokenblossoms
05-29-2007, 06:26 PM
The only time I ever use anything like hand sanitiser is when we're getting food in the car and we don't have time to stop. But I use wet wipes and afterwards wipe up the moisture from the soda cup to rinse off my hands. Anywho, this story is pretty bizarre!

RiverDaughter
05-29-2007, 09:57 PM
wow. i never would have thought.. i would guess that the little girl probably had the stuff in her hand ( a little blob of 2-3 squirts)

2-3 squirts would have been too much for an adult to use. I use the stuff regulary (I handle money at work), and 1/2 squirt is sometimes to much for my large hands (nearly 8 inches long).

I agree. I think if she didn't drink it, the teacher put WAY too much in her hand. I also think the teacher was at fault. Hand Sanitizer is a chemical and she shouldn't have left it up to a preschooler to use it appropriately. Duh.


The teacher was completely at fault in this situation. The bottle clearly states not to use this product on children under the age of 6, and, even then, to only use it under adult supervision. If the teacher had watched her, she could have told the child not to drink the hand sanitizer, and to not put it in her mouth. That's what the teacher is there for, to watch the children an help them learn, andkeep them safe. Especially with children that young.

knottyknitter
05-29-2007, 10:19 PM
After the alcohol drys the hand sanitizer is not effective. So if you apply it, it drys, you touch lets say the office phone, you have come in contact with germs meanwhile the stuff kills the good bacteria you need to fight off the bad.
I don't use the stuff. Good ol' soap and water.