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Your Kids Are Poisoning Themselves With One Thing You Have In Your Purse!
You might have heard a story recently on mainstream news channels about a 6 year old in Atlanta that somehow got drunk at school. If you dismissed that story with a shake of your head, pay closer attention. This girl got drunk on something you more than likely have in your purse right now: hand sanitizer.
This six year old thought she was drinking some type of strawberry flavored candy. It was actually hand sanitizer. Poison control centers and hotlines all across America have experienced an almost 400 percent increase in the number of calls they are receiving about children 12 and under who are consuming hand sanitizers. In 2010, there were only 3,600 reported cases of children consuming hand sanitizer. In 2013, that number has jumped to an astounding 16,117.
The amount of alcohol in these everyday hand sanitizers ranges anywhere between 45 percent and 95 percent. This means that, especially for small children, consuming amounts as small as two or three squirts, can lead to alcohol poisoning. Consider that beer and wine have only about 12 percent and 5 percent alcohol content.
Some teens are also consuming hand sanitizer but this is especially dangerous for children under 12 as their smaller bodies cannot handle as much alcohol. Typical symptoms of alcohol poisoning are vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, staggering, and in severe cases children can stop breathing.
Although some children consume hand sanitizers with the intention of getting drunk, others are doing it on a dare or under peer pressure. Still, other children simply give it a try because it looks like it might taste good. Unfortunately, it does.
Many hand sanitizers now come in orange, grape, and strawberry flavors that appeal to children. They look pretty, they smell good, and they taste good. Kids don’t realize that this is a dangerous substance, they think it’s candy.
Mothers everywhere carry hand sanitizers to try to prevent their children from becoming sick. Children are quite used to this substance and associate it with a feeling of love and caring. Mommy gives it to them, so it must be OK, right?
Older kids see things on the internet and it soon becomes trendy. Young girls want to carry accessories that are brightly colored, so they clip little containers of brightly colored hand sanitizers to their backpacks or purses. A friend at school might tell them that they can get “high” or drunk by drinking it, and thus, a problem is born.
Many schools are now switching to hand sanitizers that contain no alcohol and encouraging children to use plain soap and water. Unfortunately, many parents send their kids to school with small bottles of hand sanitizer packed right in their lunch. If you send your kid to school with a bottle of whiskey, you would be getting a visit from child protective services. But, send them to school with these fruit flavored hand sanitizers then you are considered to be a good parent.
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Check out some little known facts about hand sanitizers:
- Lowers Immunity – Science Daily published a report which found that a child’s immune system was seriously affected by the frequent use of hand sanitizers. Researchers stated that an ultra-clean environment when a child was very young lowered their immunity to such a low level that that body was forced to go into a perpetual fight mode which leads to lower immunity. This danger doesn’t pass once we reach adulthood. Adults who have weakened immune systems are extremely vulnerable to inflammatory response by the body, which makes them super vulnerable to diseases such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s as older adults.
- Check the Alcohol Content – Yes, hand sanitizers kill germs, but for this to work the alcohol content must be more than 60 percent. Anything lower simply won’t kill germs. So even though you might have found a sweet deal on a discount brand of hand sanitizer, read the label. Even if it says that the alcohol content is 59 percent, you might as well just spit on your hands because it offers just about the same protection.
- Downright Dangerous – As we have just been talking about, alcohol based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning more quickly and more easily than regular alcohol.
- Non-Alcohol Based Isn’t Much Better – Hand sanitizers that are non-alcohol based use a substance called triclosan instead. This is a common anti-fungal, antibacterial compound found in many antibacterial soaps and other cleaning products, even some toothpastes! Unfortunately, triclosan is known as being one of the compounds that have caused the formation of our antibiotic resistant super bugs. Triclosan is absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream quickly. It is a known hormone disruptor often causing allergic reasons, infertility, muscle weakness due to neurological problems, and has even been linked to cancer.
- Not as Safe as We Have Been Told – It’s an interesting fact that what affects bacteria also affects us. One of the common ingredients in hand sanitizers is called benzalkonium chloride. This compound dissolves the outer layer, or covering of bacteria, which kills them. For humans, this compound also increases the irritation of mucus linings of the nose and throat. It also makes allergic reactions worse. Some studies have shown that this substance is also toxic to birds and fish.
- Toxic Smell – That “fresh” odor that so many people love about hand sanitizers actually comes from a substance called phthalates. This substance is a known carcinogen and it easily leaches into foods or into the body through the skin. The Centers for Disease Control conducted a study which found that children now have 20 times the amount of phthalates in their bodes than any time before. A very popular study called the Swan Study found that women who were exposed to phthalates gave birth to boys who were infertile or who had anal openings that were not positioned properly.
- Causes Skin Damage – Although some hand sanitizers add aloe vera or other substances to their product to help moisturize the skin, using too much or using this product too often causes skin damage. In some severe cases, it can even cause the skin on your hands to become permanently rougher than they normally are.
If you have small children, be sure to store your hand sanitizers out of their reach. Avoid buying products that have scents and colors that are attractive to children. You can try to teach your child that these things are medicine and not candy. Encourage them to not be pressured into eating anything that was not given to them by an adult.