Important Information About The Ingestion Of Hand Sanitizer By Children


The following e-mail was forwarded to me, and though I cannot personally verify it, I thought that it was worth sharing just in case…

Yesterday, my youngest daughter, Halle , who is 4, was rushed to the emergency room by her father for being severely lethargic and incoherent. He was called to her school by the school secretary for being ‘very VERY sick.’He told me that when he arrived, Halle was barely sitting in the chair. She couldn’t hold her own head up and when he looked into her eyes, she couldn’t focus them. He immediately scooped her up and rushed her to the ER, and then called me. When we got there, they ran blood test after blood test and did x-rays, every test imaginable. Her white blood cell count was normal, nothing was out of the ordinary. The ER doctor told us that he had done everything that he could do so he was sending her to Saint Francis for further tests. Right when we were leaving in the ambulance, her teacher came to the ER and, after questioning Halle’s classmates, we found out that she had licked hand sanitizer off her hand. Hand sanitizer, of all things. But it makes sense. These days they have all kinds of different scents and when you have a curious child, they are going to put all kinds of things into their mouths. When we arrived at Saint Francis, we told the ER doctor there to check her blood alcohol level, and yes we did get weird looks, but they did it. The results showed her blood alcohol level was .85!, six hours after we first took her. There’s no telling what it would have been if we would have requested it at the first ER. Since then, her school and a few surrounding schools have taken this out of the classrooms of all the lower grade classes, but what’s to stop middle and high schoolers from ingesting the stuff? After doing research on the Internet, we have found out that it only takes 3 squirts of the stuff to be fatal in a toddler. For her blood alcohol level to be so high was to compare someone her size to drinking something 120 proof. So please PLEASE don’t disregard this because I don’t ever want anyone else to go through what my family and I have gone through. Please send this to everyone you know who has children or are going to be having children. It doesn’t matter what age.

Verification of this can be found here. 

A similar mishap was reported in Minneapolis, where 2-year-old Sydney Moe ate some of the hand sanitizer gel her mother kept by the sink and was rushed to the emergency room with a blood alcohol concentration of .10 percent — legally drunk, by the statutes in most states. She, too, recovered quickly, but the Minnesota Poison Control Center warned that the high alcohol content of hand sanitizers and other common household products such as mouthwash and perfumes can pose a serious health threat to small children and should be kept out of their reach except under parental supervision. Some hand sanitizers contain isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol instead of ethyl alcohol, making them even more dangerous to ingest.

…just seemed like an important reminder to be very careful.


  1. Andi says

    .85 blood alcohol level is complete BS. Usually even a .45 is fatal, .85 would mean 85% of the childs blood content is alcohol.

    Other than that though, yeah why not give parents something new to worry about….though I’m pretty sure middle and high school kids can get regular alcohol just fine without needing to suck out hand sanitizer.

  2. Ronnie says

    Hmm… don’t think theirs any truth in this, although the alcohol used in sanitized could affect blood alcohol levels [shown when the girl was tested] it would not behave like sugar alcohols [aka; esters] and would not inebriate the girl, it says she was ‘lethargic and incoherent’

    you can never trust chain mail, always best to ask a doctor before turning into mum zilla!

  3. mommymel says

    may be some truth to it but this email has been circulating for years. I received it 4 years ago.

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