Hand Sanitizers and Children's Safety: Everything You Need to Know

Hand Sanitizers and Children's Safety: Everything You Need to Know

Hand hygiene is one of the most effective means to prevent the spread of germs especially in this coronavirus pandemic. It is believed that hand hygiene could safeguard about 1 of  3 children who suffer from diarrhea as well as 1 of 5 children who suffer from respiratory infections such as pneumonia. Washing and sanitizing hands not only assist in avoiding germs, but also their instant spread. Children are vulnerable to germs as they are sensitive and they lack proper knowledge. It is generally accepted that washing hands with soapy solution and water for at least 20 seconds is a simple and effective step while ensuring protection against germs. In case if this option is unavailable, then hand sanitization is a best practice to serve the purpose. 

Ways to encourage the use of  hand sanitizers among children

Teaching children to use hand sanitizer is a good approach to develop a permanent habit of taking care of personal hygiene in them. Try teaching them through fun activities such as practice count down or sing familiar poems/tones until they get done with the process of hand sanitizers. Make them feel good about their experience of using hand sanitizer. Make available the hand sanitizers that children find exciting and nice (i.e. hand sanitizer with good scent and appealing color).

Hand sanitizers and children safety

Certain hand sanitizers contain potentially toxic types of alcohol.  Visit FDA’s do-not-use list at www.fda.gov/handsanitizerlist in order to get familiar with appropriate types of hand sanitizers which are approved from FDA. Before making any purchase of hand sanitizer, make sure that  the hand sanitizer should possess at least 60% alcohol concentration in it. The alcohol present in hand sanitizer works effectively if the solution is rubbed all over the hands as well as between fingers and the back of hands. Avoid wiping or rinsing off the hand sanitizer after application until it gets dry. Try to make your children learn all the above mentioned steps of hand sanitization so that they may be able to use hand sanitizers in an appropriate manner.  In case if children’s hands are greasy and polluted with dirt then wash them instead of making use of hand sanitizers. Many hand sanitizers are being available in appealing packaging that could confuse children i.e. similar to squeeze pouches that typically contain food items in them. Parents and guardians should be careful in this scenario because children may consume them accidently and ingestion could lead to dangerous and harmful situations. It is recommended that avoid using hand sanitizers that are available in packaging that seems like food or beverage containers especially in a school environment.

In order to prevent accidental situations i.e. consumption of “not-to-eat” products, hand sanitizers should be placed away from children and it will be best if parents keep sanitization products out of sight. Supervision is necessary to ensure children's safety as the solution of hand sanitizer is highly flammable and it could cause destruction if placed near heat and flames.

Bird’s-Eye View: Essential considerations

  • Always go through and follow the guidelines as well as warnings present on hand sanitizers.
  • If you opt to keep hand sanitizers in children’s school bags, then make sure you make them learn to recognize the product and prevent the packaging of products that resemble food or beverage containers so that children don't get confused while using.
  • Be attentive and oversee children when they are using hand sanitizer.
  • Keep hand sanitizers away from the reach of children.
  • Have an interesting discussion with children about the safe application of hand sanitizers.
  • Always read the product’s label to make sure that the ingredients don't involve technical-grade ethanol as children should not use hand sanitizers that contain technical-grade ethanol.
  • In case if hand sanitizer is ingested by children, get medical assistance right away .
  • If you experience any adverse effects of hand sanitizers on children's skin then report it to respective authorities. 
  • In order to prevent the spread of toxic coronavirus, keep washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, maintain social distance and consider precautionary measures. Always use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water are unavailable in particular settings.