Hand Sanitizers are Drugs
Hand sanitizers are regulated as over-the-counter (non-prescription) drugs by the U.S. FDA. You should always store hand sanitizer out of the reach of pets and children. Children should use it only with adult supervision. Accidental drinking even a small amount of hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning in children.(However, there is no need to be concerned if your children eat with or lick their hands after using hand sanitizer.)
How much Alcohol is in Hand Sanitizers?
Most alcohol-based hand sanitizers contain 60 percent or higher alcohol content, making it 120 proof. To put this in perspective, most beer contains only 5 percent and even whiskey usually contains 40 to 45 percent alcohol content.
Don’t Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
Although many stores and pharmacies sell it, hand sanitizer might be hard to find during a public health emergency. Still, it is not recommended that you make your own hand sanitizer. If made incorrectly, hand sanitizer can be ineffective – or worse. For example, there have been reports of skin burns from homemade hand sanitizer. Also, adding alcohol to non-alcohol hand sanitizers is unlikely to result in an effective product. And using disinfectant sprays or wipes on your skin may cause skin and eye irritation. Disinfectant sprays and wipes are intended to clean surfaces, not people or animals.
What precautions should you take while using Hand Sanitizers?
- Do not use hand sanitizer if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy; wash your hands with soap and water instead.
- The alcohol in hand sanitizer works best when you rub hand sanitizer all over your hands, making sure to get between your fingers and on the back of your hands.
- Do not wipe or rinse off the hand sanitizer before it is dry.
- Never use your hands to eat anything, especially after using hand sanitizer. Always wash your hands with soap & water before eating, otherwise the chemicals in the hand sanitizer which leave a residue on your hands after drying off, can get into your body.
- The alcohol in hand sanitizer can take away moisture from your hands & make them dry. It is a good idea to keep using a moisturizer to keep your hands soft.
- If your hand sanitizer does not contain alcohol, it may contain “Triclosan” which is a strong anti bacterial & can be readily be absorbed by skin. It is known to effect Thyroid function & can cause damage to the liver.
- Ideally the hand sanitizer should not be scented or fruity, as it may contain more harmful chemicals.
- Alcohol based hand sanitizers are highly inflammable & if you go near any fire, after immediately applying hand sanitizer, there may be a serious risk of catching fire.
Do hand sanitizers have an expiration date?
Hand sanitizer produced under the temporary policies for hand sanitizer production may not have an expiration date listed because they are expected to be used during this public health emergency.
Where should hand sanitizer be stored?
Hand sanitizer should be stored out of reach, and sight, of children. It should not be stored above 105°F (for example, it should not be stored in a car during the summer months).
Is hand sanitizer dangerous for children?
For children under six years of age, hand sanitizer should be used with adult supervision. When used according to the directions on the Drug Facts Label, hand sanitizer is not dangerous for children.
What precautions to take while using Hand Sanitizers in children?
- Only use a pea size amount when cleaning the hands of your children.
- If the child is too small, it is better to first rub the sanitizer in your hands & then rub your Child's hand with them.
- You should rub the hand sanitizer on your baby’s hands until it is completely dry.
- If you have toddlers or an older child, please supervise them until the hand sanitizer is dry and never let your child lick their hands immediately afterwards.
- Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizer away from your children and lock it up at home.
- If you keep a small bottle in your purse or diaper bag, it’s important to place your bag up high and out of reach to reduce the chance of your child finding it.