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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2013 Mar;52(3):203-9. doi: 10.1177/0009922812470970. Epub 2013 Jan 8.

Pediatric ingestions of house hold products containing ethanol: a review.

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1
McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alcohol is present in a number of household items that are readily accessible to children. Ingestion of these household products containing alcohol can lead to significant health risks.

OBJECTIVE:

To identify reported cases of ingestions of common household items that have led to ethanol intoxication, poisoning, or death in children up to the age of 18 years.

METHODS:

The OVID MEDLINE database from 1948 to March 2011, Embase from 1980 to March 2011, and CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) from 1982 to February 2011 were searched for articles with the following key terms: alcohols(ethanol or ethyl alcohol) and ingest*(ingestion) or intoxic*(intoxication) or poisoning* or death. The search was limited to children (0-18 years). All articles that reported ingestion of household products that contained ethanol were included in the analysis. Results. Many household products, particularly mouthwashes, hand sanitizers, and cosmetics contain quantities of ethanol that are significant enough to induce intoxication and hypoglycemia. There were 17 publications directly reporting on children with alcohol intoxication from household products. Serious adverse events included hypoglycemia, seizures, and death. Child-resistant closures appear to have reduced the incidence of ingestion of ethanol-based products, including mouthwashes, and may be applicable to other products such as hand sanitizers.

CONCLUSION:

Ingestion of household substances containing alcohol continues to be a health care problem. Legislature to reduce alcohol content in household products and public education should be instituted to prevent poisonings in children.

PMID:
23299839
DOI:
10.1177/0009922812470970
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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