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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.
Hand sanitizer is very safe when used in the right way.
Young children sometimes swallow hand sanitizer by getting into the bottle or licking it off their hands. Some people misuse hand sanitizer by drinking it on purpose for the alcohol.
What are the symptoms of swallowing hand sanitizer?
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 sting.
What can I do about hand sanitizer poisoning?
If someone has swallowed hand sanitizer or gotten it in their eyes, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511. You can also contact us with other questions you have about hand sanitizer.
How can I prevent hand sanitizer poisoning?
To prevent hand sanitizer poisoning:
Last Updated: Tuesday May 10th 2016