According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s been a significant spike in the amount of pre-teen children ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Reports of children drinking hand sanitizer have risen steadily since 2005, but the trend has increased in the last six years.
The report states that between 2011 and 2014, there were more than 65,000 incidents of children under the age of 12 ingesting hand sanitizers with alcohol reported to the National Poison Data System.
The CDC also reports that about 6,000 children between the ages of 6-12 reported ingesting hand sanitizer — meaning these children were more likely to have drank sanitizer purposefully. The agency also notes that these types of poison reports spike during school months, citing flu season and the fact that many schools require hand sanitizer as a school supply.
Those drinking hand sanitizer have reported irritated eyes, vomiting, pink eye, cough and abdominal pain. The CDC also reports that five children fell into a coma, three suffered seizures, and two experienced respiratory depression.
The CDC recommends that children wash their hands with soap and water in a non-healthcare situation, and suggest non-alcoholic sanitizers or hand wipes.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.