More Children Getting Drunk on Hand Sanitizer

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Bob Hallinan

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             Poison control centers across the country are getting more and more calls involving children under 12 ingesting hand sanitizer, according to an analysis by the Georgia Poison Center. It’s no different at The University of Kansas Hospital Poison Control Center, which serves the entire state of Kansas. So far in 2015, the staff has handled 153 such calls.

            "Kids are getting into these products more frequently, and unfortunately, there are a percentage of them going to the emergency room," said Tama Sawyer, the center's director. The amount of alcohol in hand sanitizer ranges from 45% to 95%. Ingesting even small amounts -- as little as two or three squirts in some cases -- can cause alcohol poisoning. By comparison, wine and beer contain about 12% and 5% alcohol, Sawyer said.

            In the video, Sawyer explains why this is a big concern, why it doesn’t take much to get kids drunk, what parents should look for to see if their kids have been ingesting the sanitizer and what parents can do to keep their kids from getting into it.