What is hand sanitizer?
Hand sanitizers, such as Purell® are products for cleaning your hands when you don’t have soap and water. They kill germs, like viruses and bacteria, helping to stop the spread of colds and the flu.
Some brands of hand sanitizer use alcohol to kill the germs, while others use different chemicals.
Young children sometimes swallow hand sanitizer by getting into the bottle or licking it off their hands. Some people, especially teens, drink hand sanitizer on purpose for the alcohol. They will often find instructions online for “distilling” the alcohol.
What are the dangers of hand sanitizer?
Hand sanitizer is very safe when used in the right way.
Someone who swallows a lot of hand sanitizer with alcohol in it may show signs of being drunk, such as having trouble walking or talking. However, hand sanitizer tastes bad and irritates the mouth, which keeps most people from drinking a harmful amount.
Getting hand sanitizer in your eyes can also hurt.
What can you do about hand sanitizer poisoning?
If you have any questions about hand sanitizer, whether someone has swallowed some or if you just want information, call us at 1-800-222-1222 or chat now.
If someone has swallowed hand sanitizer, we will help you figure out how much the person drank, what symptoms you may see and how to treat them.
If someone got hand sanitizer in their eyes, we will help you figure out if they need to flush their eyes and can tell you how to do it in the right way.
To prevent hand sanitizer poisoning:
- Use alcohol-free hand sanitizer when you can.
- Keep hand sanitizer out of the reach of children.
- Keep hand sanitizer in its original container.
- Keep an eye on children when they use hand sanitizer.