News Update - Hand Sanitiser Safety and young children

Hand Sanitiser Safety

Since the recent outbreak of COVID-19, Australians are looking for ways to raise their hygiene standards.  If used correctly, alcohol-based hand sanitisers have been proven effective in reducing the number and type of disease-causing microbes, especially when soap and water aren't available. However, NSW Health is reminding parents that alcohol-based hand sanitiser can be dangerous if ingested and misused, particularly for young children and babies. 

Latest news update on hand sanitiser

Recent reports by the NSW Poisons Information Centre have found that while hand sanitiser is an important tool in reducing the spread of COVID-19, it has also caused a spike in the number of calls due to hand sanitiser exposure incidents, mostly by young children ingesting it at home. Senior Poisons Specialist from the NSW Poisons Information Centre Genevieve Adamo said even a small amount can be harmful to young children and babies.

Further, parents are being reminded to be aware of imported products as they may not be clearly labelled and could contain toxic alcohols such as methanol that make the hand sanitiser more dangerous if ingested. Products may also be packaged in a range of container types, including beverage containers, which can increase the risk of accidental ingestion and poisoning. Additionally, colourful and sweet-smelling hand sanitisers can also pose as dangerous for your young children as these products can tempt kids into ingesting.

Tips on using hand sanitiser for young children 

  1. Ensure you go over as many times as it takes for your child to understand how to properly apply hand sanitiser for the most effective and safe application. 
  2. Always supervise your child when they are applying and using hand sanitiser.
  3. Remind your child to keep their hands out of their mouths after the hand gel is applied.
  4. Only give your child a pea-size amount of hand sanitiser to apply.
  5. Ensure that your child knows to keep their hands out of their mouths after applying.
  6. Ensure your child knows to not touch anything immediately until all of the hand sanitiser is dry. 
  7. Avoid using sweet-smelling or fragrant hand sanitiser as this will increase the chances of your child being tempted to lick their hands and consequently ingest the hand sanitiser.
  8. If you are concerned that your child has ingested any amount of hand sanitiser, call your poison control centre immediately.

What to do if you think your child needs to go to the hospital?

Genevieve Adamo advises “calling the Poisons Information Centre first to see if you or your child needs to go to hospital may prevent unnecessary visits to the Emergency Department and will help to keep Emergency Departments free for emergencies. In the current climate, it also prevents people from increasing their risk of exposure to COVID-19.”

More tips in dealing with COVID-19

To assist with slowing the spread of COVID-19 FeverMates have launched Australian made Instant Hand Sanitiser Line designed to be safe for children. Our products are available in both Gel and Spray form and have been developed to provide a gentle, nourishing, fast-drying formula leaving your hands feeling rejuvenated and most importantly, killing germs fast!

Lastly, remember that everyone can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by practising social distancing, hand washing, cough etiquette and staying home if they’re unwell. Learn more about how to protect yourself and others.

Contact us

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