The answer is YES! Hand sanitizer can make you drunk, but could possibly be worse than the normal alcohol adults drink. Also, drinking hand sanitizer can even be lethal. Recently, in Kansas City, Kansas, there have been numerous amount of phone calls to hospitals and poison control stating their child had drank hand sanitizer. One incident states a six-year old had given herself three or four squirts of the hand sanitizer. Nhaijah Russell said, ”It tasted good, like strawberry”. Some teens and pre-teens just drink the hand sanitizer because they are either being dared to or they are really trying to get drunk.
Even though this is recent, this is not the first time its has happened. According to new analysis by the Georgia Poison Center, in 2010, till now, poison control centers everywhere in the U.S. have had numerous phone calls stating that children, under the age of twelve, were swallowing the hand sanitizer. According to CNN.com, hand sanitizer contains from 45% to 95% of alcohol.
Two to three squirts of hand sanitizer, can even cause alcohol poisoning. Georgia’s Poison Center director, Dr. Gaylord Lopez, said that “wine and beer contain about 12% and 5% alcohol”, which is a lot less than hand sanitizer has in that small bottle.
What effects can the few squirts of hand sanitizer have one one’s health? Well, 6 year-old, Nhaijah Russel’s blood alcohol level was beyond the normal level at .179. Alcohol Poisoning can cause drowsiness, confusion, and vomiting. It can also cause brain trauma, due to the confusion and drowsiness, but in life threatening situations, one can stop breathing.
In the end, to avoid this from happening, Lopez states to keep the hand sanitizer out of reach from little kids because what attracts their attention is the color of the bottle and what the flavor shows on the bottle. He also says to try other solutions like “non-alcohol based products or sanitizing wipes can also be used”.