For the study, CDC looked at information from the National Poison Data System and found that at least 70,669 children under the age of 12 had been exposed to hand sanitizers from 2011 to 2014.
Most of the exposures came from kids drinking the gel, and more of those above age six had been exposed to alcoholic gels compared to non-alcoholic gels, suggesting they drank it for the alcoholic effect.
“The majority of intentional exposures to alcohol hand sanitizers occurred in children aged 6-12 years,” the report said. “Alcohol hand sanitizer exposures were associated with worse outcomes than were non-alcohol hand sanitizer exposures.”
More than 8,000 of those cases resulted in adverse health consequences including abdominal pain, vomiting, and at least five instances of coma. The rate of child exposure to antibacterial soaps has been on the rise since 2005, according to the CDC.
Alcoholic hand sanitizers typically contain between 60% and 95% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol by volume, the study found, and scents added to the liquids to make them smell good could make them more enticing to kids.
Last year, poison control centers warned parents that a growing number of children were being hospitalized after getting drunk on alcohol-based hand sanitizers. They advised parents to stay alert for children carrying large bottles of sanitizer in their backpacks or purses.
Source: CBS News