Hand sanitizer is hurting childrens’ eyes more often, study says

Flush with water immediately if exposure happens, poison control says

Hand sanitizer generic photo (Pixabay)

In the age of COVID-19, it’s something we constantly keep around us, but hand sanitizer can be dangerous.

A new study of data from France shows more children are hurting their eyes because of it.

When you can’t wash your hands, it can help kill germs, but hand sanitizer can also be hazardous, according to a study published in Jama Ophthalmology using data from the French Poison Control Center.

Cases of chemicals from hand sanitizers getting into young eyes increased 7-fold between April 1 and Aug. 24, 2020, compared to the same period a year earlier.

[TRENDING: Florida debuts new vaccine hotline | Merritt Island-bound plane found in ocean | Titusville man accused of killing mother]

Some children under 4 years old were even hospitalized.

“There are the spray hand sanitizers that can accidentally get sprayed into their eye, but also if it is one of the squeeze bottles or pump bottles they can shoot out and surprise the child,” Julie Weber, the director of Missouri Poison Control Center said.

Weber knows about the dangers of eye exposures to hand sanitizer as she’s had these calls come into the center.

She says if it happens to your child immediately flush the eye with water.

“Try to get them to not rub the eye and cause more irritation or running the risk of causing a scratch on the cornea,” Weber said.

To keep kids safe, Weber says parents should keep hand sanitizer out of reach of younger children.

To help prevent exposure, think about the container, how the sanitizer will come out of it, and, if using a public dispenser, pay attention to whether it’s at a level that would make it easier to spray into young eyes. And always supervise your child.

Weber says you should call the nationwide poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 if your child gets hand sanitizer in an eye. A poison specialist will answer and can guide you through what to do and whether you need more medical help.