Georgia has seen a recent increase in the number of cases of children who have used hand sanitizer.
The Georgia Poison Center reported a 60% increase in calls related to ingesting hand sanitizer compared to last year. Most of the calls involve children, reported CBS 46, an editorial partner of News 34 Atlanta.
“We have had cases where they have gotten very sick, they have gone to the emergency room and in a couple of cases we have had children with blood alcohol measurements above double the legal limit,” said the executive director of Georgia Poison. Center, Gaylord Lopez. “They’re taking a sip, a couple of sips, we’ve even had cases where they drank half a small bottle.”
Between March and September of this year, the Georgia Poison Center received 613 calls compared to 383 during the same period last year.
Seventy percent of the calls involve children under the age of 12. In that age group, there has been a 30% increase in calls.
Lopez said that without childproof caps on the bottles and some with attractive scents, parents can’t let their guard down.
“Keep them away, and keep them out of the reach of children because these are the most vulnerable, these are the ones who call us, we want to avoid that unnecessary visit to the emergency room because this is a poison that can actually harm you more than help you” added.
If you suspect a child has ingested hand sanitizer, Lopez said to call the poison center before doing anything else. She said that in many cases a visit to the emergency room is not necessary, but that a professional will direct you what to do.
The poison control hotline is 1-800-222-1222. Symptoms to look for in a child who may have ingested the alcoholic product include drowsiness, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.