You are watching: Can you get drunk off hand sanitizer

Six-year-old Nhaijah Russell swallowed 3 or four squirts of watch innocuous liquid hand sanitizer in ~ school. It tasted good, she said, prefer strawberry.

It likewise contained enough alcohol to do her dangerously drunk. She arrived on the emergency room slurring her words and unable come walk.

Is hand sanitizer toxic?

since 2010, poison control center hotlines throughout the joined States have seen a nearly 400% increase in calls connected to youngsters younger 보다 12 eat hand sanitizer, according to brand-new analysis by the Georgia poison Center.


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“Kids are obtaining into this products an ext frequently, and unfortunately, yes sir a percent of lock going come the emergency room,” stated Dr. Gaylord Lopez, the center’s director.

The lot of alcohol in hand sanitizer ranges from 45% to 95%. Eating even small amounts – as small as 2 or 3 squirts in some instances – can reason alcohol poisoning. Through comparison, wine and also beer contain about 12% and 5% alcohol, Lopez said.

Hand sanitizer doesn’t assist in colleges

Nhaijah’s blood-alcohol level was .179, twice what’s thought about legally drunk in an adult, follow to Dr. Kris Ritchey, who treated she in the emergency room in ~ Gwinnett Medical center near Atlanta. Doctors had to watch Nhaijah overnight at a nearby children’s hospital for indications of brain trauma, since the alcohol had actually caused she to fall and also hit her head, that said.

“That was an extremely scary,” Nhaijah’s mother, Ortoria Scott, said. “It can have been really lethal because that my child.”


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Alcohol poisoning can cause confusion, vomiting and also drowsiness. In serious cases, a child can stop breathing.

Lopez said 3,266 hand sanitizer instances related come young youngsters were reported to poison manage centers in 2010. In 2014, the number raised to 16,117 cases.

last week, Lopez sent out a letter come Georgia’s school systems warning around children drinking hand sanitizer. He explained that some youngsters do it purposely in order to obtain drunk, if others do it ~ above a dare from friends. Tho others, that said, drink sanitizer because it look at tasty.

“A kid is not thinking this is poor for them,” Lopez said. “A most the an ext attractive (hand sanitizers) space the persons that room scented. There are strawberry, grape, orange-flavored hand sanitizers that are an extremely appealing to kids.”

Lopez proposal parents and also teachers store hand sanitizer out of with of children and also monitor that is use. He claimed nonalcohol based products or sanitizing wipes can likewise be used.