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Prescrire Int. 2012 Jul;21(129):184.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers: severe intoxication in children.

[No authors listed]


Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are an alternative to hand washing with soap and water when water is unavailable. Their use has increased over the last decade. Cases of acute intoxication have been reported in children after accidental ingestion of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, sometimes leading to inebriation, agitation, drowsiness, impaired consciousness, and blood alcohol levels sometimes exceeding 2 g/I. In practice, alcohol-based hand sanitizers should be kept out of reach of children and should only be used when hand washing with soap and water is not possible. The possibility of alcohol intoxication should be borne in mind when a child suddenly presents with behaviour problems or altered consciousness.

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