Secret killer of the pandemic panic: Children are being POISONED after accidentally drinking hand sanitiser
- Number of children poisoned from drinking hand sanitiser has almost tripled
- Medical and poison control authorities are now calling for stricter enforcement
- They say hand sanitiser is being made in container that look like drink bottles
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The number of children who have been poisoned from drinking hand sanitiser has skyrocketed in Australia since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
Medical and poison control authorities across the country say the alarming trend is been driven by hand sanitiser containers that look similar to drink bottles.
With a global shortage of hand sanitiser in March due to COVID-19 stockpiling, a number of companies in Australia and across the world began making the germ-killing product.
Individuals also started to make hand sanitiser at home when stocks were scarce at the supermarket.
In both cases, the alcohol-based liquid was often put into drink bottles shaped containers.
The number of children who have been poisoned from drinking hand sanitiser has skyrocketed in Australia since the coronavirus pandemic took hold (stock image)
Medical and poison control authorities across the country say the alarming trend is been driven by hand sanitiser containers that look similar to drink bottles
In April, the New South Wales Poisons Information Centre fielded 164 calls about hand sanitiser poisoning, almost three times higher than the same month in 2019 when they received 65 calls.
The trend has also been continuing in May, News Corp reported, and regulators are now so concerned they are calling for these products to be banned.
‘The shortage of hand sanitiser in supermarkets has led to the emergence of “home-made” and unfamiliar products, which may be produced overseas,’ the centre posted to Facebook.
‘Some are appearing in large drink-type containers without child-proof lids, which can easily be mistaken for a water bottle!
‘New South Wales Poisons centre is receiving many calls about accidental exposures to these products. Hand sanitiser is very harmful to children if ingested.
‘Always keep all hand sanitisers and cleaning products out of reach of children.’
If ingested, hand sanitiser can cause blindness, brain, kidney and liver damage or even death.
Experts say some hand sanitiser bottles are appearing in large drink-type containers without child-proof lids, which can easily be mistaken for a water bottle
Australian Distillers Association representative David Goulding said the transition to producing hand sanitiser helped save countless jobs in the industry.
‘We have made it clear to our members that no-one should be using spirit bottles or anything that looks like a drink bottle,’ he said.
But, ‘these are the sorts of things that happen when the government says anyone can make it without a licence,’ Mr Goulding said.
Since the unprecedented build up of local hand sanitiser manufacturing, panic-driven demand for the product has now eased compared to the levels seen in March.
Mr Goulding stressed that Australian distillers now have large stockpiles of the product because state and local governments have now returned to buying cheaper hand sanitizers from China.
If ingested, hand sanitiser can cause blindness, brain, kidney and liver damage or even death