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IWK’s child safety specialist warns against potential harm of hand sanitizer marketed to children

Hand-sanitizers marketed to young children are being sold in the province. Reynold Gregor/Global News

A child safety specialist at the IWK is raising awareness about the possible harm of a hand sanitizer marketed to young children, which looks very similar to an apple sauce squeezable pack.

“I think parents will look at it … and think this is a great way to get my child to keep their hands clean, to use it frequently. I do think, though, that as a child, it would be very easy to confuse it with something that they can eat and ingest,” said Child Safety Specialist Chantal Walsh from Child Safety Link.

Read more: Alberta doctors warn against leaving hand sanitizer in hot cars due to fire risk

Child Safety Link (CSL) is an injury prevention program at the IWK Health Centre dedicated to reducing the incidence and severity of unintentional injury to children and youth in the Maritimes, as stated on the IWK’s website.

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Walsh said in an interview with Global News that there’s enough in the pack to cause some toxicity if it gets ingested by a child.

There is about 62 per cent of alcohol in the pack, which is found in a lot of other hand sanitizer as well.

Read more: Can baby wipes replace disinfectant wipes?

“If children were to ingest, they could easily become drowsy, have difficulty breathing and also it could result in some low blood sugar,” said Walsh.

She said it’s important to note that this not about the child potentially putting their hands in their mouths after using the hand sanitizer that they’re worried about, but it’s more about drinking the contents of the pack that would ultimately cause the toxicity.

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In the case of a child ingesting the hand sanitizer, Walsh recommends that parents get in touch with the poison centre as soon as possible, for it could result in hospitalization.

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“I was thinking to myself, as a parent that it’s something that obviously I feel most parents probably have seen and would likely have purchased at this point.”

For that reason, Walsh says she recommends that parents refrain from using the pack and not to purchase something similar to the product in the future.

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