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Keeping Kids Safe: Teaching the Right Way for Children to Use Hand Sanitizers When Soap Isn't Around

date: 12/11/2023

kids hand sanitizers

In our battle against the spread of infectious diseases, one of the simplest yet most effective weapons in our arsenal is the humble hand sanitizer. Its ease of use and portability make it a go-to solution, especially when soap and water aren’t within reach.

When to Use Hand Sanitizers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes the significance of regular hand hygiene. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds remains the gold standard, especially after using the restroom, before meals, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing the nose. But when access to soap and water is limited, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content is a recommended alternative.

Proper Application Matters

For maximum effectiveness, ensure thorough coverage when applying hand sanitizer. Rub it all over your hands, between your fingers, and on the backs of your hands until it dries—don’t wipe or rinse it off prematurely. Remember, if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy, opt for handwashing with soap and water instead.

Safety First

Understanding that hand sanitizers are classified as over-the-counter drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) underscores the importance of responsible usage. Always read and adhere to the instructions on the product's label, especially the warning section.

Moreover, store hand sanitizers out of the reach of children and pets, ensuring adult supervision during their use. If a serious reaction occurs after using hand sanitizer, seeking medical assistance or contacting the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 is crucial.

Additional Safety Tips

Several safety precautions warrant attention:

  • Avoid contact with eyes when using hand sanitizer.

  • Use hand sanitizer in well-ventilated areas.

  • Supervise children to prevent misuse.

  • Never ingest hand sanitizer, particularly for children attracted by its scent or packaging. Even small amounts can lead to alcohol poisoning in young ones.

  • Beware of hand sanitizers in containers that resemble food or drinks, as well as those with food flavors or fragrances. Ingesting these can cause severe harm or even be fatal.

Stay Informed

Staying updated on the FDA’s list of hand sanitizers to avoid is vital. Some products may contain toxic alcohol, insufficient active ingredients, or misleading labeling, posing significant health risks.

Reporting Adverse Effects

Healthcare professionals and consumers are encouraged to report any adverse effects from hand sanitizer use to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting program. This proactive approach aids in ensuring product safety.

Conclusion: Stay Safe

Hand sanitizers play a vital role in our daily hygiene practices. While they offer a convenient alternative to handwashing, following safety guidelines and staying informed about product safety is paramount.

Remember, protecting yourself and your loved ones from diseases starts with simple yet crucial measures like proper hand hygiene. For more detailed information and resources on hand sanitizers and COVID-19, refer to reliable sources such as

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