ATLANTA — A new report says there is an increasing number of children who are getting intoxicated by ingesting hand sanitizer.
New analysis by the Georgia Poison Center shows that since 2010, poison control hotlines across the U.S. have seen a nearly 400 percent increase in calls related to children under 12 drinking hand sanitizer, according to CNN.
The amount of alcohol in hand sanitizer ranges from 45 percent to 95 percent, CNN reports. As a comparison most beer or wine has between 5 and 12 percent.
One instance cited by the network showed that ingesting even just a few squirts of hand sanitizer can make a child “dangerously drunk.”
Dr. Gaylord Lopez, the poison center’s director, told CNN, “Kids are getting into these products more frequently, and unfortunately, there’s a percentage of them going to the emergency room.”
Lopez said adults should store hand sanitizer out of the reach of children and monitor its use. He said that to fight germs, children can use nonalcohol based products or sanitizing wipes.
According to the Mayo Clinic alcohol poisoning can affect breathing, heart rate, body temperature and gag reflex. It can potentially lead to coma and death.