NewsCovering Kern County


'They could even go into a coma,' Doctor shares hand sanitizer exposure concerns for children

Posted at 6:47 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 21:47:27-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Earlier this week a local child who ingested hand sanitizer became intoxicated at Bakersfield day care last month and now a new center for disease control report is showing incidents like these are more common than parents think.

23ABC News spoke with Dr. Lorene Rodriguez who said it’s a prevalent issue and she see’s a number hand sanitizing consumption cases in her office yearly.

“Children are using them, they are ingesting them and so what happens is when they ingest it that proof on it can be as much as drinking alcohol it’s self,” Centric Urgent Care Dr. Lorene Rodriguez said.

According to the Department of Social Services that was the case at the Oaks Children Center last month.

The report shows the daycare was cited with a Type A violation after an elementary school aged child drank hand sanitizer at the care center and was taken to a hospital shortly after for having alcohol in their system.

It’s a case Rodriguez said is not uncommon.

“I would say it’s much more prevalent,” Dr. Rodriguez said.

According to social services type a violations like the hand sanitizer incident pose an immediate or substantial threat to the health, and safety of individuals and Rodriguez agreed.

“They can have alcohol poisoning, they could have aguilar irritation, they could even go into a coma,” Dr. Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said couching, vomiting and seizures are other severe reactions that may take place from drinking hand sanitizer and it can even be a fatal consumption.

However, she said there are a few things you can do to avoid problems.

“Solutions like non-alcoholic hand sanitizers, don’t leave them where your child can just squeeze as much as they can or squeeze them into their mouth,” Dr. Rodriguez said.

In a new report released by the Center For Disease Control (CDC) more children may ingest sanitizers because of their appealing scents, like apple, vanilla, and citrus.

The CDC analyzed data and found more than 60,000 kids were exposed to the alcohol based sanitizers between 2011 and 2014.

However, Rodriquez said in order to avoid the problem it’s best to just keep it simple.

“Just have them wash their hands with soap and water,” Dr. Rodriguez said.